The joint declaration of the G20 leaders adopted at the Delhi summit is a “milestone”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday. The declaration did not explicitly condemn Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. “The Global South no longer wants to be lectured,” Lavrov said.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi concluded a two-day summit of G20 leaders in Delhi on Sunday and symbolically handed over the presidency of the group to Brazil, where the next such meeting will take place next year.
Earlier on Saturday, G20 leaders issued a joint statement opposing the “use of force and threats of force to seize territory” and stressing that “the use or threat of using nuclear weapons is unacceptable”, but did not explicitly condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov about the “milestone”
The BBC points out that “few expected a joint declaration at this year’s G20 summit“, stressing that the group is deeply divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The British broadcaster notes that neither the Russian president has appeared in Delhi Vladimir Putinnor the leader of China Xi Jinpingwho sent low-level delegations to India.
Therefore, it was a surprise when, just hours after the summit began, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a consensus had been reached on the wording of the Ukraine section of the statement, thus easing last year’s direct criticism of Russia. During last year’s G20 summit held in Bali, most members condemned “with all firmness the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.”
At a Sunday press conference, commenting on this year’s joint statement by G20 leaders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a “milestone” had been reached. “Honestly, we didn’t expect it. We were ready to defend our version of the wording of the text. The Global South no longer wants to be lectured,” he said.
G20 summit in Delhi
During the Delhi summit, the African Union was included as a permanent member of the G20, which is intended to make the group more representative. The organization, which brings together 55 African countries, was given the same status as the EU in the G20.
On the sidelines of the summit, world leaders announced an international agreement on a rail corridor linking India’s ports with the countries of the Middle East and Europe. The memorandum of understanding on the corridor was signed by, among others, by the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The G20 group, created in 1999, brings together 19 of the economically strongest countries in the world, including: USA, Germany, France, China, Japan, India and Russia, and the EU. The G20 countries account for around 85% of global GDP and 75 percent value of trade transactions, and their total population is approximately 2/3 of the world’s population
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/INDIAN MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS/HANDOUT