Ukraine issue splits G20 ministers, joint statement eludes meet

Thursday 09th March 2023 01:54 EST

The G20 foreign ministers' meeting ended with a chair summary and outcome document rather than a joint communique, as foreign minister S Jaishankar put it, extremely polarised views on the Ukraine issue, even though there was significant "meeting of minds" on issues that developing countries are grappling with. The outcome was the same as what happened at the finance ministers’ meeting last week in Bengaluru where Russia and China blocked efforts to arrive at a consensus.

Jaishankar claimed that the divide on Ukraine could not be closed. He highlighted other areas where consensus had been reached, including the need to promote multilateralism, energy and food security, and terrorism.

He said that the G20 foreign ministers meeting had not produced an outcome document in quite some time. Similar to the finance ministers' meeting, Russia and China were singled out in the outcome statement and chair summary for declining to support the Bali Declaration's paragraphs 3 and 4 on Ukraine.

India-US meet focuses on Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, clean energy

US secretary of state Antony Blinken and Jaishankar held a bilateral meeting on the margins of the G20 meeting in which they discussed the Ukraine issue, focused on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and reviewed bilateral ties.

The US State Department reported that they discussed joint initiatives to advance and broaden strategic technology and defence industrial cooperation, enhance food, energy, and global health security, clean energy transition, counter-narcotics collaboration, and women's economic empowerment. “Blinken and Jaishankar also discussed how to mitigate the global impacts of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, the US and India’s cooperation in Indo-Pacific, and regional issues,” it said.

Russia says will target West

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Jaishankar discussed the Ukraine crisis and other important areas of bilateral cooperation, such as energy, commerce, and investment, as well as the use of complementary currencies to settle trade. There were discussions also on Afghanistan, SCO and Brics cooperation and, as Moscow said, creation of a security architecture in the Indo-Pacific.

The two leaders also discussed the effects of the Ukraine conflict like food and energy crises on developing countries. “A wide ranging discussion with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on #G20FMM sidelines. Exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and G20 issues,” Jaishankar tweeted.

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