Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Jul 7 (EFE).- The war in Ukraine and global inflation that threatens with a looming global recession overshadowed the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting being held Thursday on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s presence ensured tensions were running high at the meeting at the Mulia hotel in Nusa Dua (east of Bali) where diplomacy chiefs of the world’s 20 leading economies gathered.
The group meeting will likely become the first time many international dignitaries will come face to face with Lavrov since Kremlin forces stormed Ukraine in late February.
So far only Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has met with Lavrov at a bilateral meeting where the allies pledged to strengthen ties.
“In the context of the US strategic line, consisting in the containment of the development of our countries, we will continue to increase and expand our practical interaction,” Lavrov said during a meeting with Wang, according to Russian TV.
Wang agreed that despite external difficulties, Moscow and Beijing would remain united and continue to share a “strategic approach.”
China will be one of Russia’s few supporters at the group meeting, since, apart from the neutral approaches of India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, the remaining G20 economies (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Australia and the European Union) are all steadfast in their rejection of Moscow’s invasion.
AN ATYPICAL MEETING
The German foreign ministry spokesperson, Christian Wagner, said this week that it would not be “a normal meeting” due to Lavrov’s presence, although boycotts are not expected to occur as in April, when finance ministers walked out of a Group of 20 meeting in London.
The US State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday that secretary of state Antony Blinken “intends to engage fully in the G-20.”
“I can tell you the secretary will be a full and active participant in the G-20, which we see as a valuable forum,” the spokesperson told reporters.
Blinken is expected to meet with Chinese foreign minister Wang on Friday, as tensions soar over Taiwan and trade disputes.
The EU’s top diplomat met with Wang Thursday and urged China to play a “more constructive” role in the Ukraine war and to put an end to the disinformation about Russia’s involvement in the war.
Australian foreign minister, Penny Wong, slammed Russia’s “illegal” and “immoral invasion” on Thursday.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, is expected to join Friday’s group meeting via a videoconference and on the meeting’s sidelines, several ministers will take part in two multilateral sessions also scheduled for the last day of the gathering.
RISK OF FAMINE
The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, will be joining as a guest of honor and will seek to strengthen multilateralism and call for measures to cushion the effects of the food and energy crisis the war in Ukraine has triggered.
The supranational organization recently warned of an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” with 276 million people facing food insecurity.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, has said he wants to be a “communication bridge” between Kyiv and Moscow after he visited war-ravaged Ukraine last week and Russia.
Events over the next two days will serve as a prelude to what may unfold at the G20 summit on the resort island of Bali on November 11- 13, to which Russian president Vladimir Putin has already confirmed his attendance.