The recently concluded Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) G-20 meeting failed to reach a consensus in condemning Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, forcing India to release just an outcome statement and not a traditional communiqué.
New Delhi tried to budge the heads of finance to remain true to the conditions of the Bali G20 statement, which happened last year in November. However, India failed to get China and Russia on board.
The release only included the proceedings and discussions that happened. India had a hard time striking a balance between eastern and western countries who attended the summit with their agendas.
While the West is adamant about releasing a joint statement condemning Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, followed by sanctions on the country, Eastern countries want to take a neutral stand and do not want to directly condemn the war.
India is seeking to convince Moscow and Beijing to go along with the consensus on describing Russia’s war in Ukraine. Both China and Russia drifted from the use of the word “war” to describe the Russia-Ukraine crisis, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Last year, at the G20 summit in Bali, the joint declaration mentioned the “war in Ukraine” without specifically naming Russia, not referring to it as “Russia’s war on Ukraine,” in an effort to garner support from as many G20 countries as possible.
China and Russia’s collaborative efforts at the recently held G20 summit in Bangalore show the deepening of relations between the two countries. During a recent meeting between Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both countries affirmed their unbreakable bond.
Both countries said clearly that their relationship is not to target any third country but to show the convergence of interests among those who believe in multipolarity and democratic principles to govern international relations.
Even though the US and EU have imposed tough sanctions on Russia, sanctions have a boomerang effect that is affecting countries all over the world, even those who imposed them.
Western countries are dependent on Russian oil and gas; sanctions on Russian oil increased the price of oil in the international market, and the rise in the price of oil made everything else expensive.
India is in a tough spot. India maintains a close relationship with Russia. India didn’t hesitate to purchase discounted oil from Russia even after the continuous warning from the West, and Russia was more than happy to provide discounted oil to India, which matched the equation of both countries. India is also heavily dependent on the Russian military.
India is balancing the conflicting interests of the G20 countries. India’s primary focus is making the G20 summit a success. However, it will be interesting to see whether India will categorically name the countries that are deviating from the Bali consensus and restraining joint statements.
India wants to use the platform of the G20 summit to talk about the concerns of the global south, which include countries like Africa and Latin America that are struggling to have strong roles in global affairs.
India will use the platform to talk about pressing issues of climate change and India’s position in leading the world towards green energy and developing a robust telecom sector by rolling out 5G, etc.
Last year, India launched LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) in the presence of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, intending to make environmentally sustainable and responsible choices to create a cleaner, greener, and bluer future.
India is also promoting the “International Year of Millets,” where countries are trying to raise awareness about this coarse grain, which can be grown in rain-deficient places, keeps the fertility of the soil intact, and has high fibre and nutritional value.