| 25 July 2024, Thursday |

G20 summit avoids condemning Russia for Ukraine war, calls for peace

The Group of 20 adopted a consensus declaration at a summit on Saturday that avoided condemning Russia for the war in Ukraine but called on all states not to use force to grab territory.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Leaders’ Declaration had been adopted on the first day of the weekend G20 summit in New Delhi.

“On the back of the hard work of all the teams, we have received consensus on the G20 Leaders Summit Declaration. I announce the adoption of this declaration,” Modi told the leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden and heads of government and state from across the world.

The consensus came as a surprise as G20 is deeply divided over the war in Ukraine, with Western nations earlier pushing for strong condemnation of Russia in the Leaders’ Declaration, while others demanded a focus on broader economic issues.

“We call on all states to uphold the principles of international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law, and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability,” the declaration said.

“We … welcome all relevant and constructive initiatives that support a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine.

“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the statement added.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the declaration was “nothing to be proud of”, adding that a Ukrainian presence would have given participants a better understanding of the situation.

However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the declaration demonstrated a clear position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by saying that the territorial integrity of countries cannot be called into question with violence.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the declaration had “very strong language about Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine”.

“I think that is a good and strong outcome.”

There was no immediate reaction from Russia, which is being represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He had said he would block the final declaration unless it reflected Moscow’s position on Ukraine and other crises.

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine has left tens of thousands of dead, displaced millions and sown economic turmoil across the world. Moscow denies committing atrocities during the conflict, which it terms a “special operation” to “demilitarize” Ukraine.

The declaration also called for the implementation of the Black Sea initiative for the safe flow of grain, food and fertilizer from Ukraine and Russia. Moscow pulled out of the agreement in July over what it called a failure to meet its demands to implement a parallel agreement easing rules for its own food and fertilizer exports.

  • Reuters