| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

Russia attends G20 meeting set to be dominated by Ukraine conflict

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in Bali, Indonesia, for a conference of G20 foreign ministers, which is expected to be overshadowed by tensions sparked by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The G20 conference continues till Friday in Indonesia, which has struggled this year to balance hosting a global summit while dealing with geopolitical constraints and a worldwide food crisis blamed on the war.

As international diplomats converged on the tropical island of Bali for the summit, there was intense security in the Nusa Dua district on Thursday.

Prior to her arrival in Bali, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated that Russia should not be allowed to exploit the G20 summit as a platform.

“It is in everyone’s best interests to guarantee that international law is recognized and followed. That is the common factor “According to Baerbock’s assertion.

The conference will include the first face-to-face encounter between President Vladimir Putin’s long-serving foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and some of Russia’s most vocal opponents since the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow has described as a “special military operation.”

According to Russian news agency TASS, Lavrov landed in Bali and expected to meet with certain G20 peers on the margins of the conference, but ministers like Baerbock and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have ruled out meeting with Lavrov.

The Group of 20 comprises Western nations who have accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine and imposed sanctions, as well as countries such as China, Indonesia, India, and South Africa that have responded more subtly.

Some European and American officials have highlighted that the Bali meeting would not be “business as usual,” with a spokeswoman for Germany’s foreign minister saying the G7 countries will coordinate their reaction to Lavrov in Bali.

During a G20 finance conference in Washington in April, top officials from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States walked out on Russian representatives.

  • Reuters