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No joint G20 statement after China objected to war in Ukraine

BENGALURU (INDIA) – G20 finance ministers on Saturday failed to adopt a joint statement on the global economy at talks in India after China tried to water down references to the Ukraine war.

For its part, Russia accused the United States, the European Union and the G7 countries of disrupting the ministerial meeting by trying to push through a joint statement on Ukraine.

“We regret that the activities of the G20 continue to be destabilized by the Western collective and used in an anti-Russian manner,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

After failing to reach a consensual final declaration, current G20 President India issued a “Chairman’s Summary”, stating that “most members have strongly condemned the war in Ukraine” and that there were “differing assessments of the situation and the sanctions” at the two-day meetings in Bengaluru.

A footnote said that two paragraphs in the summary of the war, carried over from the Bali declaration by G20 leaders in November, “were agreed by all member countries except Russia and China.”

Spain’s representative Nadia Calvino had earlier said that agreeing on a statement was difficult because of “less constructive” approaches by some unspecified countries in talks between the world’s 20 largest economies.

China wanted to change the language of the November statement, officials told AFP, with one saying on condition of anonymity Beijing wanted to remove the word “war”.

Previous meetings of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have also failed to produce a joint communiqué since Russia, a member of the grouping, invaded its neighbor last February.

Senior Indian official Ajay Seth said the Chinese and Russian officials did not want to sign the text on Ukraine because “their mandate is to deal with economic and financial issues.”

“On the other hand, all of the other 18 countries felt that the war had an impact on the global economy” and needed mentioning, Seth said at a final news conference.

China has sought to remain neutral in the conflict while maintaining close ties with strategic ally Russia.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday quoted top diplomat Wang Yi as saying China is ready to step up strategic coordination with Russia after meeting President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

On Friday, the first anniversary of the invasion, China released a 12-point paper calling for a “political solution” to the crisis, drawing skepticism from Ukraine’s allies.

G20 host India also refused to condemn Russia, which is New Delhi’s largest arms supplier and has become a major source of oil for India since the invasion.

Western countries – including the United States, Germany and France – had insisted that the language in a joint statement could not be weaker than the communiqué that G20 leaders issued in Indonesia in November.

“This is a war. And this war has a cause, has a cause, and that’s Russia and Vladimir Putin. That must be made clear at this G20 finance meeting,” said Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner at a press conference on Friday.

– debt relief –

India’s summary document said the global economic outlook has “improved slightly” although overall growth remains slow and risks remain, including an increased one inflationa resurgence of the pandemic and high levels of debt in many poorer countries.

On climate change, it stressed the importance of delivering “as soon as possible” on the commitment made by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance for poorer countries by 2025.

The gathering also focused on debt relief for poorer countries hit by skyrocketing inflation from the war, amid disagreements between China and the West on how to provide it.

Western officials want China to cut loans to indebted nations, but Beijing says multilateral lenders, including the World Bank, should do the same.

India’s summary states that a “strengthening of multilateral coordination by official bilateral and private creditors” is needed. Delegates said approval of this wording was a success.

“Last summer in Bali we discussed the wording of a communiqué for three days and we didn’t discuss the content at all there. This time we did it,” said one negotiator.

International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva called it a “very good meeting” and praised the Indian presidency for “focusing on the really important issues” like inflation and debt.

Other issues included efforts for a global tax on tech giants, expanding the remit of multilateral development banks like the World Bank to help nations affected by climate change, and cryptocurrencies.


Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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