Foreign Ministers of the G20 countries had a bitter day rounding up their two-day meeting Friday in Bali, Indonesia, as the case of the war in Ukraine took center stage and divided positions among attendees.
Despite efforts from hosting Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, tensions over the Ukraine war led ministers to split into two groups. Some countries have raised concerns that multilateralism is under threat and is increasingly challenging to respond effectively to global challenges, Marsudi said in his closing statements.
The heads of diplomacy from major industrialized and emerging economies met Thursday and Friday in Nusa Dua (east of Bali), where the group's divisions were evident, although Indonesia considered it something of an achievement that all attended, unlike the day before, when the G7 ministers (Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) did not attend the welcome dinner.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that his colleagues do not understand courtesy and the rules of etiquette.
Foreign ministers of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union) participated in all the sessions, which were also attended virtually by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
During his appearance, he called for a resolute global response to Russian aggression, which threatens the world with an energy and food crisis. During Kuleba's speech, Lavrov walked out of the room, as he had done when German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke in favor of strengthening multilateralism.
Lavrov criticized Western isolationism by assuring that he would reach out to China and India and held one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from Türkiye, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Indonesia.
Wang Yi did iron out differences with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, with both countries involved in border tensions.
Food security was one of the focuses of the agenda of the Indonesian-organized meeting, and in that regard Lavrov made one of the few announcements of the meeting, stating that his country is ready to negotiate with Ukraine and Türkiye on ways to export Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea. We are ready to negotiate with our Ukrainian and Turkish colleagues. We have all solutions if it comes to Ukrainian grain, he said, while Moscow's blockade means that Kyiv can take out only 2 million tons a month, 60 percent less than in peacetime.
U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken reportedly said to our Russian colleagues: Ukraine is not your country; its grain is not your grain... Why are you blocking the ports? You should let the grain out. Lavrov was not in the room when Blinken spoke.
Compromises were a priority for Indonesia, which imports wheat and fertilizer from Ukraine and Russia. Although we are different, we all live on the same planet. Here we sit together for the first time to discuss important issues that concern us all, Marsudi said.
European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell warned that no one can be neutral in the face of aggression such as Russia's appalling war against Ukraine.
The only moment of unity and consensus Friday was the unanimous condemnation of the killing of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
After meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, whose country will host the G-20 next year, Blinken said the organization is a vital institution for trying to deal collectively with some of the most significant problems and challenges that the world faces.
Blinken and Lavrov sat at the same table but did not speak directly. He did talk with his Argentine colleague Santiago Cafiero through. The US official is scheduled to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Saturday to discuss climate change, global health, counternarcotics, and the situation in Myanmar, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink. Blinken will have two long meetings with Wang, with the first session likely focusing on bilateral relations and the second on regional and international issues, according to diplomatic sources.
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Bolsonaro's Brazil and Lula's Brazil are on Russia's side. Just as we are on the side of Europe. Peace!Jul 09th, 2022 - 04:01 pm 0
Good observation. In similar fashion, every administration from Bush through Obama, Trump and Biden has pursued Snowden and Assange and kept the Guantanamo prison camp operating. In the US, this is the modus operandi of the Republicrat / Demopublican one party rulers.Jul 10th, 2022 - 03:10 pm 0