Foreign Minister S Jaishankar acknowledges divergences among G20 members on Ukraine war at Delhi meeting
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar spoke to reporters at the G20 meeting under India’s presidency and acknowledged that there were “divergences” among the member countries regarding the Ukraine conflict. He explained that despite discussions among Foreign Ministers, the differences could not be reconciled, leading to an outcome document instead of a joint statement. Sources indicate that objections from both Russia and China regarding the wording on the Ukraine war prevented a joint statement for the second time, similar to last week’s G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Bengaluru. However, Mr. Jaishankar emphasized that there was agreement on “the bulk of issues” relating to the concerns of the global south.
According to Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, the majority of the issues discussed at the G20 meeting under India’s presidency resulted in agreement, including strengthening multilateralism, promoting food and energy security, climate change, gender issues, and counterterrorism. He explained that the outcome document captured a considerable meeting of minds on the bulk of issues that concern the global south. However, on two paragraphs, there was a lack of agreement, preventing the issuance of a joint statement. Mr. Jaishankar noted that the outcome document had nearly 90% agreement on the issues discussed.
This inability to reach a joint statement contrasts with the consensus reached by leaders in Bali in November, where the G20 leaders’ statement strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and acknowledged different views and assessments of the situation and sanctions.
India has taken a diplomatic approach to the war and refrained from blaming Russia, instead focusing on seeking a solution while increasing purchases of Russian oil. To prevent the G20 presidency from being dominated by the Ukraine war, India has prioritized issues such as food, energy, and fertilizer security, which impact fewer wealthy nations.
According to India, the majority of G20 members have strongly condemned the war in Ukraine during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in New Delhi. The only countries that disagreed with this condemnation were Russia and China. India’s summary of the meeting’s outcomes closely followed the language used in a previous statement from a G20 financial leaders’ meeting, where Russia and China also disagreed with statements condemning the war.