At the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali, Indonesia, members are struggling to reach a consensus on the war in Ukraine.
The US and its Western allies are pushing for a condemnation of Russia in a joint statement, but that is extremely unlikely as Russia is a member of G20, and so are other countries reluctant to condemn Moscow, including China.
A draft statement circulating the summit on Tuesday acknowledges that there are differing views on the war but also “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation” and “demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.”
With the strong condemnation of the war, there’s no chance that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is attending the summit on behalf of Vladimir Putin, would approve the statement.
Lavrov said the Western G20 members tried to “politicize” the statement. “Yes, our Western colleagues tried in every way to make that declaration politicized and tried to push through language that implied condemning the actions of the Russian Federation on behalf of the entire G20, which includes us,” he said.
In a speech on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s stance on the war, that Beijing seeks peace talks and a ceasefire. He also called for the lifting of “unilateral sanctions” and called on members not to politicize food and energy issues.
The G20 includes the world’s leading economies and developing nations. Other G20 members besides China have not followed along with the US sanctions campaign against Russia, including Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and India.