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G20 ministers meet in India with threat of division by Ukraine

G20 ministers meet in India with threat of division by Ukraine

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenwill arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday for a meeting of the G20 which will also be attended by his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and which will probably be marked by divisions over the conflict in Ukraine and the tensions with China.

The two-day meeting of foreign ministers from the world’s 20 largest economies follows that of finance ministers, who failed to agree on a final statement over disagreements over Ukraine.

China and Russia were the only members of the group that did not endorse the paragraphs of the document referring to “the war in Ukraine.

There is little chance that Blinken and Lavrov will meet. They have not been in the same room since last July’s G20 meeting in Bali, when, according to Western diplomats, the Russian minister walked out of the meeting.

They last met face to face in January 2022, weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and since then they have discussed other topics but not the war.

Lavrov arrived in India, a country that has not condemned the war, on Tuesday night and will use the G20 meeting to criticize the West, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to Moscow, Western countries want “to take revenge for the inevitable disappearance of the dominance mechanisms from their hands”the Russian ministry said in a statement.

“The destructive policies of the United States and its allies have brought the world to the brink of disaster, caused a setback in socioeconomic development and aggravated the situation of the poorest countries”he added.

“spy” balloon

Nor does a Blinken meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang seem likely.

The United States shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon over its west coast on February 4, prompting Blinken to cancel a visit to China, denouncing a “unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law.”

Beijing denied that it was a spy balloon, saying it was for climate research.

China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, “urged the United States to change course, acknowledge and repair the damage its excessive use of force caused to Sino-US relations,” published the state news agency Xinhua.

Blinken met Wang in Germany, where he called on him to avoid toasting material support” to Russia for its war, as has been speculated in Washington, although China denies such an intention.

Blinken is scheduled to meet his colleagues from the Quad group, made up of the United States, Japan, Australia and India, which many see as a bulwark against China in the Asia-Pacific region, on Friday.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the appointment will confirm “the commitment to the strengthening of a free and open international order based on law”.

Indian in trouble

The Group of Twenty is made up of 19 countries and the European Union (EU), and covers 85% of the world economy and two-thirds of its population.

India wants its bloc presidency to focus on issues like poverty alleviation and climate finance, but the war in Ukraine seems to dominate the agenda.

New Delhi shares the West’s concern about China, but it is also a big buyer of Russian arms and has increased its imports of Russian oil.

India has not condemned the invasion of Ukraine either, although Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin last year that these “These are not times for a war.”

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said he was confident that India would use the meeting to “make Russia understand that this war must end.”

“The success of the meeting today will be measured by what we can do about it”Borrell told reporters in New Delhi.

Source: AFP

Source: Gestion

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