G20 Summit concludes in New Delhi; Modi called for a virtual meeting in November

  • Recent Developments:
  • French President Emmanuel Macron Says G20 Declaration Is Not A Diplomatic Victory For Russia
  • Macron says Russia is isolated from summit
  • Japan’s prime minister says Russia’s aggression against Ukraine could shake the foundations of the G20

NEW DELHI, Sept 10 (Reuters) – The G20 summit in New Delhi ended on Sunday as India handed over the bloc’s presidency to Brazil, while the United States and Russia hailed a consensus not to condemn Moscow for the war in Ukraine. Members should refrain from using force.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the group’s leaders to hold a virtual meeting in November to review progress on policy recommendations and targets announced over the weekend.

“It is our responsibility to look at the proposed recommendations to see how we can accelerate progress,” he said in a statement.

On Saturday, the group adopted a leaders’ declaration that stopped short of condemning Russia for the war, but highlighted the human suffering the conflict has caused and called on all states not to use force to seize territory.

The consensus was surprising. In the weeks leading up to the summit, sharply divergent views on the war threatened to derail the meeting with the West, with members saying Moscow should be invited to invade and Russia blocking any resolution that does not reflect its position.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the head of the Russian delegation, said the summit was a victory for India and the developing countries of the world, the Global South.

He told a press conference that the Global South’s position in the talks helped prevent the G20 agenda from being overshadowed by Ukraine. “India has truly integrated G20 members from the Global South.”

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White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters that the summit’s declaration “does an excellent job of establishing the principle that states cannot use force to acquire territory or to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of other states.”

Germany and Britain also praised the resolution, but Ukraine said it was “nothing to be proud of”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the G20, set up to deal with international economic issues, does not necessarily expect a diplomatic breakthrough in the war in Ukraine.

However, he told a press conference that the G20 declaration was not a diplomatic victory for Russia, which isolated it from the summit.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Russia’s aggression against Ukraine could shake the very foundations of the G20.

Walking barefoot

The summit recognized the African Union as a permanent member of the G20, comprising 55 member states.

Lavrov also said that Russia would return to the Black Sea agreement that would have allowed Ukraine to export grain if Russia’s demands were met. Moscow pulled out of the deal in July after it failed to meet its demands to implement a parallel agreement to loosen rules on its own food and fertilizer exports.

The summit document called for the safe arrival of grain, food and fertilizers from both Ukraine and Russia.

On Sunday, leaders including US President Joe Biden, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japan’s Fumio Kishida visited the memorial of India’s freedom hero Mahatma Gandhi.

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Following Gandhi’s assassination by a Hindu extremist in 1948, most of the leaders were barefoot when they visited his cremation ground.

Biden then traveled to Vietnam and missed the last session of the summit. The White House said it was not aware of any talks he had with Lavrov or Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin boycotted the summit.

“This is one of the most difficult G20 summits in the nearly twenty-year history of the forum … It was almost 20 days before the summit to agree the declaration and five days here,” said Russian Svetlana Lukash. The G20 government negotiator was quoted by Russian news agency Interfax.

“This is not only because of some disagreements on the Ukraine issue, but also because of differences on all major issues, primarily climate change and the transition to low-carbon energy systems…”

An EU official, who did not want to be identified, said on Sunday that the Ukraine war was the most contentious issue in the talks.

“It would not have been possible without India’s leadership,” the official said, adding that Brazil and South Africa played a key role in bridging the gap.

2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine kills tens of thousands, displaces millions and sows economic turmoil around the world. Moscow, which says it is conducting a “special military operation” there, denies any atrocities.

Additional reporting by Krishnan Kaushik; Written by Sanjeev Miklani and Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coggle

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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