G20 Finances fails to agree on Ukraine

The ambition of Westerners to explicitly condemn the Russian aggression has come up against the opposition of China and Russia.

by Sophie Landrin (New Delhi, corresponding)

The G20 meeting of the Ministers of Finance, in Bangalore in India, Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25, ended with a failure and once again uncovered the lines of fractures between the member states On the question of war in Ukraine.

China and Russia have blocked Westerners’ ambitions to get along on a clear declaration on the occasion of the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. Moscow and Beijing opposed two paragraphs on war. The meeting ended without joint press release.

On the eve of the G20, Germany, France and the United Kingdom had pleaded for member countries to adopt an explicit reference to Ukraine. Bruno Le Maire had indicated that it was impossible to question Bali’s declaration in Indonesia in November 2022 in which the leaders had declared that “most of the G20 member states strongly condemned the war in Ukraine”. “We will oppose any perspective,” said the French Minister of the Economy, like his German counterpart, Christian Lindner. Starting a visit to India on Saturday, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, also called the G20 not to release the pressure on Russia and continue to send “a strong message”.

“Different Situation assessments “

At the end of the Bangalore meeting, India was content to publish a “summary” and “a final document from the president” taking note of disagreements. Indian Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, told journalists that the prepared press release contained two paragraphs of the Bali Declaration, refused by Russia and China.

The first paragraph stipulates that “most of the members firmly condemn the war in Ukraine” specifying that “there were other points of view and various assessments of the situation and sanctions”. A second underlines “the need to enforce international law and the multilateral system which preserves peace and stability” and judges “the use or threat of use of unacceptable nuclear weapons”.

China and Russia have not signed arguing that their role was to “deal with economic and financial issues”. In a statement published in Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accused Westerners of having “destabilized” the meeting by trying to impose a “diktat”.

Before the press, in Bangalore, the vice-president and Minister of the Economy of Spain, Nadia Calvino, regretted, without however quoting, that certain “positions” within the group are “less constructive “, that in Bali.

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/Media reports cited above.