Thursday, June 13, 2024

Why Russia is upset at the G20 meeting of finance ministers in India?

Russia regrets that Western countries continue to destabilize the Group of Twenty (G20), as well as use it in an anti-Russian way, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry published on Saturday.

“We regret that the activity of the “Group of Twenty” is continued to be destabilized by the collective West and used in an anti-Russian, exclusively confrontational way,” the statement on the first meeting of G20 finance ministers and the governors of central banks in 2023 said.

Russian Foreign Ministry also urged the West to build equitable relations with new power centers.

“We are urging the collective West to reject its destructive course as soon as possible, to understand the objective realities of a multipolar world and to begin building normal ties with the new centers of power on the international stage, such as Russia, based on the principles of the sovereign equality of nations,” the statement said.

According to the document, West undermines final document of G20 financial meeting.

“Using open blackmail and diktat, introducing absurd interpretations of the situation in Ukraine, the West has yet again undermined the approval of collective decisions,” the MFA noted.

A gathering of G20 finance ministers in Bengaluru has ended in discord after Russia and China refused to endorse a statement condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and rejecting the use of nuclear weapons. 

The meeting broke up on Saturday without agreement on a joint communique from members’ finance ministers and central bank governors. Instead India, which holds the G20 presidency, issued a “chair’s summary and outcome document”. It was backed by delegates from 17 of the group’s 20 members, which include the world’s largest advanced and developing economies; Russia and China did not endorse it. 

The document reiterated the position taken by G20 leaders at a summit last year in Bali, when they deplored “in the strongest terms” Russia’s war on Ukraine and demanded Russia’s “complete and unconditional” withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. 

The document also repeated the Bali summit’s declaration that “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible”.  

Ajay Seth of India’s finance ministry said Russian and Chinese delegates, who did not attend the Bengaluru meeting in person, had argued that the war and its consequences were beyond the mandate of finance ministers and central bank governors. 

Other members “felt that the war has implications for the global economy, so it was right to have those paragraphs”, he said. The disagreement over the communique highlights tensions within the G20 over its members’ positions on the war. The summary document said that “most” members other than Russia and China strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, which it said is causing “immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy”.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, refused to say whether India was among the members that condemned the war. 

On Thursday, India abstained in a UN General Assembly vote condemning the war, along with China. Russia voted against the UN resolution. 

Sitharaman said that India had signed up to the G20 leaders’ declaration in Bali, from which the language of Saturday’s summary document was taken. 

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