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Modi calls for unity at the Ukraine-dominated G20

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called on the G20 to bridge differences over Ukraine, saying at the opening of a meeting in New Delhi that global governance had “failed”.

“The experiences of recent years — financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, terrorism and wars — clearly show that global governance has failed,” Modi said in a recorded statement opening the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.

“We meet at a time of deep global divisions… We all have our positions and our perspectives on how these tensions (can) be resolved. However, as the world’s leading economies, we also have a responsibility to those who are not in this space,” Modi said.

India wanted its G20 presidency this year to focus on issues such as poverty reduction and climate finance, but the war in Ukraine has crowded out other agenda items so far.

The meeting will see US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the same room for the first time since July, but the two men are unlikely to hold talks.

Western delegates fear China is considering supplying arms to its Russian allies and will use the foreign ministers’ summit to stop Beijing from intervening in the conflict.

India’s long-standing security ties with Russia have put the host of Thursday’s meeting in an awkward diplomatic position after he refused to condemn last year’s invasion.

But EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was confident India would use the meeting to “make Russia understand that this war must end”.

“Certainly the success of today’s meeting will be measured by what we can achieve with it,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Borrell is due to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on the sidelines of the New Delhi summit, where he will seek assurances that Beijing will not support Russia’s war effort.

“So far, China’s response has been clear: ‘It hasn’t happened and it won’t happen’, but we must remain vigilant,” said a senior EU official with knowledge of the matter.

China’s state news agency Xinhua last week quoted top diplomat Wang Yi as saying that Beijing was ready to step up strategic coordination with Russia after meeting Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

– “Zero Evidence” –

Blinken said he has no plans to meet either the Russian or Chinese foreign ministers at the G20 summit.

The last time Blinken and Lavrov were in the same room at a G20 meeting in Bali last July, the latter stormed out, according to Western officials.

“Of course, if Russia – President Putin – were really willing to engage in any meaningful diplomacy necessary to end the aggression, we would be the first to work to engage, but there is no evidence of that.” said Blink.

Blinken had a heated encounter with Wang in Germany last month after the United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over its east coast on February 4.

According to a statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Lavrov intends to use his G20 participation to denounce Western countries over the conflict.

Western nations want “to take revenge for the inevitable disappearance of the levers of dominance from their hands,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

“The destructive policies of the US and its allies have already brought the world to the brink of disaster,” she added.

Hosting the G20 summit puts India in a difficult position because while it shares Western concerns about China, it is also a major buyer of Russian arms and has increased Russian oil imports.

A meeting of G20 finance ministers in Bengaluru last week failed to agree on a joint statement after Russia and China tried to water down language about the war.

While India has not condemned the invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin last year that this was “no time for war,” in comments seen as blaming Moscow.

Modi said Thursday he was confident the meeting would “overcome differences among participants.”

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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