A meeting of G20 CFOs Major economies ended without a consensus on Saturday, with Russia and China objecting to the description of the war in Ukraine in an outcome document.
The India-hosted meeting released the G-20 chair’s summary and an outcome document indicating there was no agreement on the language of the war in Ukraine. The first day of the meeting took place on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The G-7 announced new sanctions against Russia on Friday, just as G-20 talks ended in confusion in India’s tech hub of Bangalore.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemned ‘illegal and unjustified war on Ukraine’ in session attended by Russian officials and reiterated calls for G-20 countries to do more to support Ukraine and hinder Moscow’s war effort.
At the last major meeting of the G-20, in Bali, Indonesia, in November, the leaders had strongly condemned the war, warning that the conflict was aggravating fragilities in the global economy. The group includes Russia as well as countries like China and India that have significant trade with Moscow.
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters that the communiqué prepared for the Bengaluru meeting contained two paragraphs from the Bali statement, but Russia and China demanded they be removed and said they could not be part of the final document this time.
Their assertion was that they had endorsed Bali’s declaration under the then-prevailing circumstances, she said. “Now they didn’t want it anymore,” Sitharaman said. She gave no further details.
The Bali Declaration said that “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – by stunting growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, worsening energy and food insecurity and increasing risks to financial stability.”
The statement also said: “There were other points of view and different assessments of the situation and the sanctions. The G-20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we recognize that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.
The second paragraph of the statement, which is now unacceptable to Russia and China, read: “It is essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability. … The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to deal with crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are essential. Today’s era should not be one of war.
Sitharaman said the meeting could not issue a communiqué due to objections raised by Russia and China and decided to opt for a summary and an outcome document.