G20 finance ministers adopt statement without position on Ukraine war
The G20 finance ministers conclude their meeting in India without issuing a joint statement as customary due to disputes over the Ukraine war.
The final document on the meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors was adopted without condemning Russia's "special military operation in Ukraine" after Beijing and Moscow objected to the issue, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Saturday.
The G20 finance ministers failed on Saturday to agree on the meeting's joint communique and instead issued a "chair's summary" and an "outcome document", which noted differences in the approach toward the Ukraine issue.
"Two countries [Russia and China] had reservations, so with a footnote, certainly, a communique cannot go out, and therefore it had to be a chair's summary and an outcome document," Sitharaman told a press conference.
The statement of the meeting said, "all G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors agreed to paragraphs 1, 2 and paragraphs 5 to 17 along with Annexes 1 and 2."
Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the outcome document condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine and lacked Moscow and Beijing's endorsement.
"Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this document, as taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration [15-16 November 2022], were agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China," the statement underlined.
Bloomberg reported earlier in the week that according to sources, officials in India intended to avoid using the term "war" when it came to the situation in Ukraine in any joint G20 statements.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier on Saturday that the Ukraine crisis must be resolved using dialogue and diplomacy, and New Delhi is ready to contribute to any peace process.
"From the time developments in Ukraine started, India has emphasized that the dispute should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. India is ready to contribute to any peace process," Modi told a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
According to Modi, the Ukraine conflict, just like the Covid-19 pandemic, had a tremendous impact on the whole world, with developing countries being hit the hardest.
"We have expressed our shared concern on this. We agree on the fact that these problems can only be resolved through collective efforts. We emphasize this during India's G20 Presidency as well," he underlined.
The Indian premier noted that India and Germany had agreed that "reforms are essential in multilateral institutions so that they better reflect global realities."
Reportedly, Indian officials are worried that some countries' plans to impose sanctions on Russia would draw attention away from other G20 priorities.
West undermining G20 finance ministers' decision-making
The West is undermining the G20's decision-making, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday after the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers concluded without issuing a joint statement.
"Our opponents, primarily the US, the EU, and the G7, continue their paranoid attempts to isolate Russia and make it responsible for all international security and global economic woes," Moscow said.
"The West has again torpedoed the collective decision-making by resorting to blackmail, dictating and pushing their absurd Ukrainian narrative," the ministry added in a statement.
The United States had warned China just a few weeks after the beginning of the war against supporting Russia.
According to a report by CNN in January, Washington raised concerns with China over evidence found that indicates that firms in Beijing are sending non-lethal military assistance to the Russian military fighting in Ukraine.
Read next: China mulling giving weapons to Russia amid war, US claims
However, US officials claim that the military assistance is coming directly from China's government.
The officials noted that it is not yet clear whether the assistance violates existing sanctions, nor if the United States will adopt new sanctions on China, however, according to sources close to the Biden administration, Washington will not hold back on targeting those who violate Western sanctions on Russia.
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Beijing would never accept that US "finger-pointing" target China-Russia relations and calls on Washington to work toward a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis instead of deteriorating the situation.
Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
"We never accept the US's finger-pointing or even coercion targeting China-Russia relations," the foreign ministry said in a statement published after the meeting.