G20 summit concludes without agreement on Russia’s intervention in Ukraine
China and Russia refuse to endorse a declaration denouncing Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine at a conference of the world’s top economies.
With China and Russia itself reluctant to sign, the heads of finance of the world’s top countries were unable to reach an agreement on a united statement denouncing Russia for its war on Ukraine on Saturday.
India, which was hosting a summit in Bengaluru as chair of the Group of 20 (G20) economies, was hesitant to bring up the war, but Western countries argued they could not support any decision that did not include a denunciation.
India released a “chair’s summary and outcome document” that only summarized the two days of negotiations and listed disputes due to the lack of agreement among G20 nations.
It noted supply chain disruption, dangers to financial stability, and ongoing energy and food insecurity, saying that “most members strongly denounced the war in Ukraine and highlighted that it is inflicting great human suffering and worsening existing fragilities in the global economy.”
The sanctions imposed by the United States, European nations, and other nations to punish Russia for the invasion and deprive it of money were described as having “alternative opinions and various appraisals of the situation and sanctions.”
The result was comparable to the G20 summit’s in Bali last November, where the host nation Indonesia similarly released a closing statement noting differences. The G20, which was established more than 20 years ago to address economic crises, has battled more and more to come to an agreement to release a formal end-of-meeting communique.
The Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We still think we’ve made some progress in getting all the ministers on board, even if there wasn’t really a communique, just an outcome statement.
China’s decision to not sign the declaration, according to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, is “regrettable.”
Prior to this, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that any statement must “absolutely necessary” rebuke Russia. Russia and China did not want the G20 platform to be used to debate political issues, two delegates told Reuters.
Russia, a G20 member but not a G7 member, has avoided using the terms “invasion” or “war,” instead referring to its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation.”
India has mostly maintained a neutral position, refusing to place the blame for the invasion on Russia, looking for a diplomatic settlement, and dramatically increasing its purchases of Russian oil.
When the UN unanimously voted on Thursday to urge that Moscow withdraw its soldiers from Ukraine and end the conflict, China and India were among the countries that chose to abstain.
Together with the G7 nations, the G20 group also consists of nations like Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Brazil.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a move that upends the basis of the world order, is making it impossible for the G20 to have productive discussions, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters.
On the sidelines, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met with the World Bank, China, India, Saudi Arabia, and the G7 on Saturday to discuss restructuring debt for troubled economies, but Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, noted that there were also differences among the participants.
The resolve to overcome disagreements for the sake of nations was evident during the session that just ended, according to Georgieva, who co-chaired the roundtable with the Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
One delegate told reporters that although there had been some initial movement, namely in the terminology surrounding the subject, detailed discussion on restructuring had not taken place.
Yellen claimed that the conference, which was primarily administrative in nature, produced no “deliverables.”
Around the time of the IMF and World Bank meetings in April, additional consultations are scheduled.
The largest bilateral creditor in the world, China, has been under increasing pressure from other countries to drastically reduce the amount of loans it provides to struggling developing countries.
Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun repeated Beijing’s view that the World Bank and other multilateral development banks should also take part in debt relief by taking haircuts in a video presentation to the G20 conference on Friday.
At the meeting, more people supported India’s desire for stricter regulation of private cryptocurrency assets.
Georgieva argued that if regulation fails, officials “should not take off the table” the possibility of outright prohibitions. Yellen does not support such prohibitions but emphasized the importance of establishing a robust regulatory system.