US, France defend G20 joint statement as Russia hails Global South

New Delhi, Sep 10 (EFE).- Developing countries prevented the war in Ukraine from dominating the agenda of the G20 summit that ended Sunday in New Delhi, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said.

A joint statement by the leaders of the world’s 19 largest economies and the European Union urged “all states” to “refrain from the threat or use of force” and to respect any state’s “territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence”, but did not explicitly condemn Russia’s invasion or the war in Ukraine.

“Thanks to the consolidated position of the global South (…) it was possible to prevent the West from succeeding in its attempt to ‘Ukrainize’ the entire agenda again to the detriment of discussing the urgent tasks of developing countries,” Lavrov told a press conference at the end of the summit.

He said that although the joint statement includes a paragraph on the war in Ukraine, “it is not about Ukraine per se,” noting that “the Ukrainian crisis is mentioned but only in the context of the need to resolve all conflicts in the world in line with all the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

“This is important,” Lavrov emphasized. “If some Western leaders (…) consider that all people are naive and tell them that this text is a condemnation of Russia, then it should be noted that Russia is never mentioned there,” he stressed.

The United States, however, defended the joint statement, despite the lack of condemnation of Russia’s invasion.

In statements to reporters aboard Air Force One, the US presidential plane which was bringing president Joe Biden from New Delhi to Vietnam, White House Security advisor Jon Finer said the G20 statement issued on Saturday in New Delhi was “unprecedented” and sends a message about the “imperative need” for Russia to stop using force in Ukraine and refrain from violating the territorial integrity of that country, which it began invading in February 2022.

French president Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, said the summit reaffirmed Russia’s “isolation”, insisting that there is “no ambiguity” in the leaders’ joint statement.

“The G20 has said very clearly that it supports a just and durable peace, which is the opposite of what Russia proposes, which proposes a ceasefire and therefore not a durable and just peace,” Macron told a press conference at the end of the summit, in which he was asked about Kyiv’s complaints about the lack of an express condemnation of Russia’s invasion. EFE


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