The G20 Summit in Delhi was a milestone, and didn’t allow the war in Ukraine to take over the agenda, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today at a media briefing after the closing of the weekend summit. Terming the event a success, Mr Lavrov said India as president of the G20 consolidated, for the first time, the position of the Global South.
“We were able to prevent the West’s attempts to ‘Ukrainize’ the summit agenda,” Mr Lavrov said as the two-day meeting of leaders closed. “The text doesn’t mention Russia at all,” the veteran Russian diplomat added.
It was a breakthrough summit as it provides us a way forward to move ahead in many key areas, he further said, expressing gratitude to India for “preventing attempts to politicise” G20.
Sergey Lavrov slammed “the Anglo-Saxons” and NATO’s “aggressive policy” for the prolonged war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.
“…Everyone wants peace…About 18 months ago we agreed to sign a treaty about settling this conflict. We even initialled these documents. After that, the Anglo-Saxons ordered Zelenskyy not to sign it because they thought they would be able to reap some confessions from us,” he said, responding to a question by news agency ANI.
He claimed President Putin has recently said that Russia doesn’t mind negotiations, however, any such negotiations need to consider the realities on the ground and “take into account the reasons that have been accumulating for decades upon decades due to NATO’s aggressive policy”.
“Right now the Ukrainian officials are threatening to physically destroy Russians,” he added.
The G20 Summit under India’s presidency provides direction towards fairness in global governance, and global finance, the Russian Foreign Minister said, adding that the West “will not be able to remain a hegemony” as we see new centres of power in the world.
“The Indian presidency has really managed to coalesce G20 members from the global south,” he added, suggesting that Russian allies like Brazil, South Africa, India, and China had made their voices heard.
On challenges emanating from climate change, the Russian foreign minister said the Western powers have done nothing on its promise of providing 100 billion dollars annually to developing nations to deal with climate change.
Mr Lavrov said he appreciates India’s role in the summit, and stressed member nations must not promote personal interests in the forum.
“Everything was reflected in a balanced form…All members of the G20 have agreed to act as one in the interests of peace, security, and conflict resolution around the world,” he said.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry denounced the G20 statement as “nothing to be proud of”, but a top White House official said Washington was happy with the outcome, according to news agency AFP.
G20 leaders in their consensus document, the Delhi declaration, on Saturday referred to the problems caused by the war, but avoided blaming Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin avoided the summit.