Western finance ministers on Friday condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, during their G20 meeting in Indonesia, and blamed Moscow for the enormous impact of the war on the world economy.
The two-day meeting, in which the presidents of central banks also participate, is being held on the island of Bali in the shadow of the war that is shaking the markets, triggering food prices and inflation, AFP quoted. This meeting gave rise to new confrontations, a week after the G20 foreign ministers lauanched a salvo of accusations at the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, for the invasion.
“Russia is solely responsible for the negative effects on the world economy,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Russian delegation at the opening session, according to an official. “Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine sent a shock wave to the world economy,” Yellen added at a conference, noting that it is leading to “more people going hungry.” A source in the French delegation told AFP that “there was widespread denunciation of the war and its consequences”, while “Russia tried to say that the world economic situation has nothing to do” with the Russian offensive.
“It is Russia’s invasion that undermines food and energy security, not sanctions, and Russia must take full responsibility,” Australian Finance Minister Jim Chalmers agreed, according to a statement seen by AFP. For her part, the Canadian Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, of Ukrainian origin, told the Russian delegation that “it is not only the generals who commit war crimes”, but also “the economic technocrats” who allow the war to take place. and continue. The Russian Finance Ministers, Anton Siluanov, and the Ukrainian, Serhiy Marchenko, participate virtually in the meeting.
“We need tougher sanctions” against Moscow. “Russia obliges the United Nations and the IMF to find the means to save African countries from hunger”, the Europeans to curb inflation and “the United States to seek a solution for energy security in the world”, he stressed in line from Ukraine Marchenko. Russia was represented by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov and Elizaveta Danilova, a central bank official.
The Greatest Challenge
Indonesia, host country and president of the G20 (group of industrialized and emerging powers), warned the ministers that failure to address the energy and food crises would be “catastrophic”, especially for low-income countries. Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati called on her peers to work together in a spirit of “cooperation, collaboration and consensus” because “the world is watching” for solutions.
Yellen Marca called Russia’s war in Ukraine “the biggest challenge” to the world economy and said members of Putin’s government have no place in the talks. He also urged his G20 allies to cap the price of Russian oil to choke the Russian president’s coffers and pressure Moscow to end the invasion by lowering energy costs. There is unlikely to be a final statement when the meeting concludes on Saturday, due to disagreements over Russia’s role in causing the world’s economic woes.
Indonesia, with a neutral foreign policy, has avoided excluding Russia from the forum despite Western pressure. “This is not an easy time given the diversity of our members… and the differences in criteria,” admitted Indrawati. However, she called for “acting together to show why the G20 deserves its reputation as the premier forum for international cooperation.” The executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, called on governments on Friday to focus their aid measures on the most “vulnerable” populations in the face of an “unprecedented combination of shocks.”
Before the meeting, the Commission had warned that the global economic outlook was “darkening”. For her part, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, participated virtually in the event and “explained the ECB’s views on growth and inflation in the euro area, more affected by the war in Ukraine than the most other regions of the world,” according to a G20 source.
The appointment is a prelude to the summit that the G20 leaders will hold on the Indonesian island in November, which was to focus on economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic. But the focus changed after the Russian invasion, which blocked the ports of Ukraine, one of the world’s leading food producers.