India has the herculean task of overcoming the great divide between the West and Russia-China as it hosts the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meet in New Delhi on March 1-2. Interestingly, this meet arrives days after the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors (FMCBG) met in Bengaluru, last week. But finance chiefs of some of the world’s biggest economies failed to agree upon a joint communique at the meeting. Russia and China had opposed the West’s condemnation of the war in Ukraine. In an angry statement issued by Russia, its foreign ministry lashed out at the United States, the European Union and the G7 nations for attempting to impose “diktat” that Russia called “clear blackmail”.
To quote from the Russian foreign ministry’s statement, “We regret that the activities of the G20 continue to be destabilised by the Western collective and used in an anti-Russian way.” While Moscow accused the “collective West” of its confrontational approach towards the Ukraine conflict, France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart Christian Lindner pressed India and the G20 grouping to include Bali Communique of 2022 that recorded the condemnation of war by “most countries ” and not dilute the language of last year’s declaration. That explains why the meeting had no joint communique. Instead, it was summed up in a chair’s summary issued by India.
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