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HomeWorldUkraine war important point of discussion at G20 meet, says India

Ukraine war important point of discussion at G20 meet, says India


The Russia-Ukrainian conflict will be a major part of talks at a meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) foreign ministers, but host country India is confident that the economic challenges created by the war will be equally will receive attention, said the Indian foreign minister.

“Yes, given the nature and the evolving situation in the Russia-Ukrainian conflict, it will become an important point of discussion,” Vinay Kwatra, India’s top diplomat, told reporters on Wednesday as foreign ministers arrived in New Delhi for the meeting.

“Questions related to food, energy and fertilizer security, among others, the impact of the conflict on these economic challenges we face,” would also receive “due attention,” Kwatra said.

The meeting will be attended by 40 delegations, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

After a welcome dinner later on Wednesday, consultations will take place on Thursday.

G20 includes the wealthy G7 countries and includes Russia, China, India, Brazil, Australia and Saudi Arabia, representing about 85 percent of the world’s economy and two-thirds of the population.

The event follows a meeting of the bloc’s financial leaders in Bengaluru last month, where they argued about condemning Russia for the war, failed to reach a consensus on a joint statement and instead settled for a summary document.

The result was similar to a G20 summit meeting in Bali last November, when host country Indonesia also issued a closing statement acknowledging the differences.

Clumsy hosts

India does not want Ukraine to dominate the event, but it will be top of the agenda, another Indian Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

New Delhi’s intention is to continue to play the voice of the Global South and raise issues relevant to the region,” the official added.

India – which has not condemned the war – wants its G20 presidency this year to focus on issues such as poverty alleviation and climate finance, officials said.

Last week, G20 finance ministers in Bengaluru failed to agree on a joint statement after Russia and China attempted to water down language on the war in Ukraine.

Hosting the G20 puts India in an awkward position because while it shares Western concerns about China, it is also a major buyer of Russian arms and has ramped up oil imports.

India has not condemned the invasion, although Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin last year it was “no time for war” in comments seen as a rebuke to Moscow.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a visit to India on Saturday that he does not believe Modi’s government “has the illusion that this is an offensive war started by Russia to acquire some of its neighbour’s territory” .

Blinken, Lavrov to attend

Top American diplomat Blinken should be in New Delhi on Wednesday with Russia’s Lavrov for the G20 meeting.

A meeting between the two top diplomats was seen as unlikely. The two men have not been in the same room since a G20 meeting in Bali in July, when, according to Western officials, Russia’s foreign minister walked out immediately after his speech and did not listen to his critics.

The two last met individually in January 2022, weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. The two men have since spoken by phone, but about other issues and not the war.

Lavrov arrived in India late on Tuesday and will use his presence at the G20 to head west, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Western countries want to “revenge the inevitable disappearance of the levers of dominance from their hands,” the ministry statement said.

“The destructive policies of the US and its allies have already pushed the world to the brink of disaster, caused a setback in socio-economic development and seriously worsened the situation of the poorest countries,” it added.

People sit around a G20 logo at an intersection in New Delh (Manish Swarup/AP)

“Spy Balloon”

Similarly, the sidelines of the G20 meeting in New Delhi cast doubt on a meeting between Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang.

Blinken had a fiery meeting with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Germany last month after the US shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the East Coast on Feb. 4.

The incident prompted Blinken to cancel a rare trip to China, denouncing the “unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law” that “must never happen again,” the State Department said.

Beijing, also angered by Washington’s stance on Taiwan, denies using spy balloons and says the craft was for weather research.

Wang “urged the US to change course, recognize and repair the damage that the excessive use of force has caused to relations between China and the US,” the state news agency Xinhua reported.

Blinken also warned Wang against giving “material support” to Russia’s faltering war effort, as speculated in Washington. Beijing denies any such intention.

State news agency Xinhua quoted Wang last week as saying China was ready to “strengthen strategic coordination” with Russia following a meeting with Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Blinken was also due to meet its counterparts from the Quad group – Japan, Australia and India – on Friday, which is seen as a bulwark against China in the Asia-Pacific.


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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