Russia’s war in Ukraine has dominated G20 discussions.
With India claiming there will be no common statement.
India’s G20 presidency has focused on issues that unite the Global South.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has dominated G20 discussions, with hosts India claiming that there will be no common statement as a result of the heated confrontations.
The US secretary of state said the meeting had been marred by Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified war”.
Russia’s foreign minister accused the West of “blackmail and threats”.
India had wanted to focus on other issues affecting developing nations, but it said the differences over Ukraine “could not be reconciled”.
“We tried, but the gap between the countries was too much,” India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar said.
The G20, which consists of the European Union and the world’s 19 richest countries, generates 85% of the world’s economic output and two-thirds of its population.
The group’s foreign ministers, including Sergei Lavrov of Russia, Antony Blinken of the US, and Qin Gang of China, were gathering in Delhi under the leadership of India.
Since the start of the war, just over a year ago, it was the two top American and Russian ambassadors’ first face-to-face encounter.
The West would support Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” Mr. Blinken assured Mr. Lavrov during their brief meeting outside of the conference, according to a senior state department official.
Also, Mr. Blinken urged Russia to adhere to the conditions of the New Start nuclear weapons control deal, from which it just withdrew.
Officials from Russia denied that any talks had taken place. Russia had already claimed that the West had “buried” a deal to enable some grain exports from Ukraine, but the US retaliated by claiming that Moscow was impeding Ukrainian exports.
Russian authorities said that Beijing and Moscow had reached an understanding to reject what they referred to as Western extortion and threats, but China hasn’t verified this.
“We speak about manners. Well, our Western counterparts have gotten really bad with these,” Mr. Lavrov said after Thursday’s talks. “They are not thinking of diplomacy any more; they now only deal in blackmail and threatening everyone else.”
In his opening remarks, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for poor countries and said those in attendance had a duty to them.
“We are meeting at a time of deep global divisions,” Mr. Modi told the ministers gathered in Delhi, urging delegates to find common ground.
“After years of progress, we are at risk today of moving back on the sustainable development goals. Many developing countries are struggling with unsustainable debts while trying to ensure food and energy security,” he said.
“They are also most affected by global warming caused by richer countries. This is why India’s G20 presidency has tried to give a voice to the Global South.”
It was a rare address by Mr. Modi in English – a sign of how seriously he wanted his message to be taken.
He made no direct reference to the war in Ukraine but acknowledged that discussions would be affected by geopolitical tensions.
India’s slogan for the G20 is “One Earth, One Family, One Future”. Mr. Modi called on delegates to take it to heart and focus on issues that unite them.
Thursday’s schedule included sessions on food security, development co-operation, terrorism and humanitarian assistance – a reflection of India’s priorities while it holds the G20 presidency.
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