G20 summit ends with no consensus over war in Ukraine

Bengaluru, India, Feb 25 (EFE).- Finance leaders of the world’s largest economies failed to reach a joint statement after the G20 group was unable to reach a consensus on how to describe the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Most nations condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with only China and Russia declining to pen a joint declaration.

India, which holds the G20 presidency and hosted the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in the city of Bengaluru, issued a chair’s summary instead of the customary joint communique.

India’s position on the conflict is seen as one of the biggest obstacles to the G20 adopting a common declaration.

On Friday, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi sent a video message to the ministers’ meeting where he referred to hostilities but without mentioning Russia or using the word “war”, even though the meeting was taking place on the one-year anniversary of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks,” the summary to the meeting released by the Indian government read.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” the statement added in a nod to the raft of sanctions the United States and European nations have adopted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Spain’s deputy prime minister and economy chief, Nadia Calviño, told reporters earlier on Saturday that “discussions have been getting more difficult than in previous meetings because as the war goes on, some of the positions are maybe being less constructive on some of these issues.”

“The position of Spain, which is very much aligned with the G7 position that we cannot go back on the language that was agreed by our leaders in Bali,” Calviño said without going into any detail as to which countries were opposed to describing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as a war.

“This language has to feature in the communiqué since, obviously, we cannot reduce the ambition or change the language,” that was agreed in the November 2022 Bali G20 summit.

“This war is right now the main element of uncertainty and concern at the global level, with a long-lasting and abroad impact throughout the world,” she concluded.

Calviño’s statement echoed that of French finance minister Bruno Le Maire who on Friday demanded a firm condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before warning that Paris would oppose any “step back” from the joint statement leaders adopted in Bali.

The G7 took advantage of the Bangalore meeting to shore up $39 billion for Ukraine.EFE


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