BENGALURU: Russia has lauded India’s efforts to make G20 presidency “fair” and inclusive of “interests and positions of all countries”.
The comments came after the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, which took place here from February 24-25 and ended without a joint communique, due to objections from China and Russia on the words used for the Ukraine conflict.
“We note the constructive role of the Indian Presidency, which strove for a fair consideration of interests and positions of all countries,” said a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on February 26.
Unbiased and neutral
Praising India’s unbiased and neutral approach, the statement further said, “The balanced approaches formulated in this context create a good foundation for responding to modern challenges in the area of global finance and related sectors, including support for economic growth and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The statement emphasised that G20 is primarily an economic forum dealing with issues and challenges concerning global economy. Referring to the leaders’ declaration of the Indonesian G20 presidency, the statement said, “We presume that the G20 should remain an economic forum and not intrude into the security sphere, as was unanimously confirmed at its last year’s summit on November 15-16 in Bali.” It added, “We will continue to promote fulfillment by the G20 of the functions entrusted to it on a mutually beneficial and depoliticized basis.”
On Ukraine conflict
On February 25, the last day of the FMCBG meeting, Russia and China did not agree on inclusion of two paragraphs on the Ukraine conflict taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration of last November, which highlighted its impact on global economic recovery. The G20 delegates, led by India, opted for a “G20 chair’s summary and outcome document” instead of a communique.
Ajay Seth, secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, said Russia and China contended that the G20 Finance Ministers have a mandate to deal with economic and financial issues and “should not get into global geopolitical issues”.
The chair’s summary stated, “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.”
It added, “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.”
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