The G20 Finance Ministers meeting failed to agree on a joint statement after China refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Photo/Asharq al-Awsat
NEW DELHI – Finance ministers of the world’s largest economies, G20 failed to agree on a closing statement after a meeting at India . It happened after China refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
China refused to accept the part of the G20 statement that deplored Russia’s aggression “in the strongest terms”.
It comes after China this week published a plan to end the conflict seen by some as pro-Russia.
India, which is hosting the G20 talks this week in the southern city of Bengaluru, issued a summary of the meeting, noting there were differing assessments of the situation in Ukraine, and of the sanctions imposed on Russia.
A footnote says that the two paragraphs summarizing the war were “agreed upon by all member states except Russia and China”. The paragraph was adapted from the G20 Leaders’ Declaration in Bali last November, and criticizes in the strongest terms aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.
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After the G20 meeting, Ajay Seth, a senior Indian official, told a press conference that Russian and Chinese representatives did not agree on wording on Ukraine because their mandate was to deal with economic and financial issues.
“On the other hand, another 18 countries felt that the war had implications for the global economy” and deserved mention,” he added.
After taking a low profile role since its invasion a year ago, Beijing has stepped up its diplomatic efforts around the conflict in recent weeks. Its top diplomat Wang Yi is touring Europe this week, culminating in a warm welcome from Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
China also this week published a 12-point plan to end the war in Ukraine, in which Beijing calls for peace talks and respect for national sovereignty. However, the 12-point document does not specifically say that Russia should withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and does not condemn the Russian invasion.
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