G20 Summit Centers on Western Officials Railing Against Russia

Leaders Line Up for 'Stand Up to Putin' Photo Ops

The G20 Summit has kicked off in Australia over the weekend, but the talk of economic cooperation that was on the schedule was very much sidelined in favor of NATO officials railing against Russia about its putative “invasion” of Ukraine.

Virtually every leader went into the summit promising to really stick it to Russian President Vladimir Putin when they saw him at the summit, and similarly their press offices were crowing about confrontations with Putin after the fact.

President Putin, for his part, would say only that it was “impossible” to comply with demands to withdraw troops from Ukraine because Russia doesn’t have any troops in Ukrainian territory.

Western officials have been claiming on a near daily basis for months now that “everyone knows” Russia has invaded Ukraine to back the eastern rebels, but no credible evidence has been presented to show that the troops are actually there.

The perception of an invasion has been enough to push for dramatic increases in military spending across NATO, and provides plenty of photo opportunities like these for officials to stand up to a nation nominally bent on world domination, but which in practice can’t even really be proven to have invaded a border territory in open rebellion.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.