G20 Weakens Condemnation of Russia After India Summit

Washington's waning dominance over the globe was on display as the G20 removed language that denounced Moscow’s war in Ukraine after the summit in New Delhi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the members of the Group of 20 (G20) had agreed to remove some of the language from its joint statement that condemns the Russian war in Ukraine.

According to Nikkei Asia, regarding the war in Ukraine, the New Delhi communiqué says, “Concerning the war in Ukraine, while recalling the [2022] discussion in Bali, we reiterated our national positions and resolutions adopted at the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.” It also acknowledges that “there were different views and assessments of the situation.”

The new statement however removed direct condemnations of Russia that were included in the previous G20 communiqué issued after the Bali summit. The wording, “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine” and “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” was removed from the New Delhi communiqué.

Modi touted Indian-led diplomacy for achieving consensus among the G20 members on the statement. “Friends, we just received good news,” he said. “Owing to the hard work of our teams and with the cooperation of you all, consensus has been reached on a New Delhi G20 leaders’ summit declaration…. I declare that the declaration has been adopted.”

The statement is a step back for the Joe Biden administration which has tried to isolate Russia on the world stage. However, Western sanctions and attempts to exile Moscow from global institutions have only increased Russia’s standing in the world.

The US has sought to condemn Russia on the global stage whenever possible. The G20 statement notes that is not the purpose of the body. It says, “that while the G20 is not the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues, we acknowledge that these issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.”

The Washington-led economic war on Moscow has pushed a growing number of countries into economic communities led by China and Russia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS+ have both added significant new members.

US failure to dominate global forums is likely to continue. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be arrested if he attended the next G20 summit which will be held in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin earlier this year. While Putin may be guilty of war crimes in Ukraine, the ICC has increasingly been turned into a smokescreen used by Washington enforce its dictates across the globe. However, the US refuses to subject American officials to the jurisdiction of the ICC as it has sanctioned the court and threatened to invade the Hague for investigations into potential war crimes committed during the War on Terror.

Both Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declined to attend the summit. President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and other Western leaders attended the conference. The G20 offered to give the African Union the same standing within the forum as the European Union receives.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.