Russia Shielded From Criticism At G20 Summit

Russia’s foreign minister deemed the G20 summit in New Delhi an “unconditional success” after the summit’s final declaration stopped short of condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported.

In a press conference at the end of the G20 summit on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the summit was a success both for India and “for all of us.”

The final G20 statement released on Saturday declared that all member states “must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition,” but failed to single out Russia for its invasion. The statement acknowledged that “different views and assessments of the situation” in Ukraine existed within the group.

In the lead-up to the G20 summit, diplomats had been working to draft a final joint statement but hit several roadblocks on the language to describe the war in Ukraine. The eventual compromise was a coup for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while reflecting a much softer position than the United States and its Western allies have individually adopted.

Ukrainian officials criticized the final statement.

In a post on Facebook, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko thanked Ukraine’s “partners” for trying to “include strong wording in the text.”

Nikolenko blasted the G20, saying the group “has nothing to be proud of” and suggesting that participation from Ukraine “would have allowed the participants to better understand the situation.” He asserted that Ukraine’s position, “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” remains as central as ever.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that even with the weaker language, the joint statement “speaks loudly” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said from Russia’s perspective, it is clear from the statement “where the rest of the world stands.”

In his statement on Sunday, Foreign Minister Lavrov said the final statement is “the subject of consensus” that speaks to the “need to resolve” all world conflicts.