| 27 September 2023, Wednesday |

Russia hails unexpected G20 ‘milestone’ as Ukraine fumes

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, has hailed a joint proclamation issued by G20 leaders in Delhi that avoids criticising Moscow for its conflict in Ukraine.

Russia had not anticipated consensus, and Mr Lavrov described agreement on the phrasing as a “step in the right direction.”

The final G20 statement condemned the use of force for territorial gain but made no mention of Russian aggression, causing Ukraine to criticize.

The two-day conference also inaugurated a new permanent member, the African Union.

The 55-member bloc joins at the invitation of hosts India, one of whose key objectives while president has been to make the G20 more inclusive with greater participation of so-called Global South countries.

The world’s biggest economies reached other key deals in Delhi, including one on climate and biofuels – although there was criticism of the summit’s failure to commit to phasing out fossil fuels.

For the second year in a row, there was no official G20 “family photo”. No reason was given but reports say many leaders refused to be photographed, pointing to Russia’s presence at the summit.