Once again, the war in Ukraine, as well as strong international disagreements, took centre stage at the international summit of the G20. The Foreign Ministers of the world's main economies were unable to reach an agreement on the conflict in the European country, as announced by the head of Indian diplomacy, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who stressed that there were "divergences" on the subject.
"We tried, but the gap between the countries was too wide," he said. According to Jaishankar, the differences between members "cannot be reconciled".
However, Jaishankar said the members of the group did agree on most issues related to challenges facing less developed nations, "such as strengthening multilateralism, promoting food and energy security, climate change, gender issues and counter-terrorism," AP reports.
In addition to differing views on Ukraine, the G20 has been the scene of disputes between major world powers. Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Qin Gang accused the West of "blackmail and threats" to impose its ideals during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20.
First meeting of Russian foreign minister Lavrov & Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on margins of G20 foreign ministers meeting. pic.twitter.com/grPjPpVaGz— Rezaul Hasan Laskar (@Rezhasan) March 2, 2023
As the Russian diplomacy said in a statement, both Moscow and Beijing "unanimously rejected attempts (by the West) to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries". Lavrov also called for an end to international sanctions, "all forms of violation of the freedom of international trade, manipulation of markets, imposition of price caps and other attempts to appropriate other people's resources".
The Russian foreign minister held a short conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of one of the summit meetings. During their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the war, Blinken assured that Washington would support Kiev for as long as necessary. He also urged Russia to return to the nuclear arms control treaty and to release Paul Whelan.
blinken talked to lavrov at g20 meeting in new delhi..the highest level in person talks between russia/us in months— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 2, 2023
his 3 main points:
-us will support ukraine ‘as long as it takes’
-russia should reverse suspension on new start
-russia should release paul whelan pic.twitter.com/HpLe8Sr9tP
Gang, for his part, declared that his country "will always stand on the side of peace, actively promote peace negotiations and play a constructive role" in the Ukrainian war. Recently, the US has warned that China may be considering arming Russia during the conflict.
In New Delhi, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has spoken out, saying that should Beijing decide to supply arms to Moscow, "there will be consequences". Hoekstra said it was "vitally important" that all countries refrain from helping Russia. The Islamic Republic of Iran has supplied a significant number of drones to the Russian military, which has widened the gap between Tehran and the West. North Korea, too, has expressed its readiness to support Russia militarily in the conflict.
"We will continue to support Ukraine", Wopke Hoekstra, Netherlands FM speaking to Media on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meet pic.twitter.com/zNCNOdv4Jw— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) March 2, 2023
During the G20 summit, all Western countries condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stressing the need for a just and lasting peace. "The invasion has violated all the laws of war and humanity," said French diplomacy chief Catherine Colonna, who called on the group to "respond clearly, as it did during the Bali summit and at the UN Assembly".
First meeting with the new FM of China Qin Gang in Delhi #G20India.— Catherine Colonna (@MinColonna) March 3, 2023
Preparation of Pdt Macron's future visit to #China and discussion on global challenges & on the Russian war in #Ukraine. I insisted on the importance of respecting the core principles of the #UN Charter. https://t.co/3Xn6JS79Sh
The UN body's latest resolution on the war - tabled by Ukraine - was backed by more than 60 countries. The text achieved 142 votes in favour, seven against - Belarus, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russia and Syria - and 32 abstentions.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to focus the Indian summit on the challenges and problems facing the nations of the global south. "The experience of the last few years - financial crisis, climate change, pandemics, terrorism and wars - clearly shows that global governance has failed," stressed Modi, who had already predicted at the start of the summit that the meeting would be marked by ongoing geopolitical tensions.
Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.