Western powers failed to ‘Ukrainise’ G20 agenda: Russian foreign minister

New Delhi: Lavrov says India has managed to consolidate representatives of Global Souths for first time in history of G20

BY | Monday, 11 September, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares a light moment with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the G20 Summit in New Delhi (PC: Maria Zakharova)

The Western powers failed to “Ukrainise” the agenda of the G20 largely due to consolidated efforts by the grouping’s member nations from the Global South, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, hailing the declaration unveiled by the leaders of the bloc that avoided condemning Moscow for its war against Ukraine.

He also described the G20 Summit under India’s presidency as a “breakthrough” in many ways as its outcomes showed a path to the world to move forward on a range of challenges.

“We didn’t expect that. We were ready to defend our wording of the text. The Global South is no longer willing to be lectured,” he said referring to the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration.

India managed to hammer out an unexpected consensus among the G20 countries on the contentious Ukraine conflict through a series of hectic negotiations with emerging economies such as Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia playing a leading role in reaching the agreement on the declaration.

At a press briefing, Lavrov said India played an important role in “preventing the West” from taking forward their approach on many issues, including Ukraine.

The G20 members of the Global South prevented the efforts of the West to “Ukrainise” the agenda of the summit, he noted.

The summit declaration clearly sent across a message that military conflicts in the world must be resolved according to the UN Charter and that the Western powers will not be able to press ahead with their concepts of resolution of various crises, Lavrov said.

“The summit was a breakthrough event as it gave clear guidelines for achieving such goals (of ensuring a balance of interests in the global economy),” he said, hailing India’s presidency of the ugrouping.

In his remarks, the Russian foreign minister said the united position of the Global South prevented the West from focusing the G20 summit’s agenda on Ukraine.

“Largely thanks to the consolidated position of the Global South on protecting its legitimate interests, Western attempts to focus the agenda on Ukraine to the detriment of discussing the pressing issues the developing world is facing failed,” he said.

Lavrov said India has for the first time in the history of the G20 managed to consolidate representatives of the Global South.

He said the G20 developing countries have a “correct picture” of what is going on in Ukraine, alleging that “the Kiev regime destroyed its country’s territorial integrity by itself”.

Lavrov also noted that the G20 Summit in New Delhi provided a direction towards fairness in global governance and global finance as well.

“I want to express my gratitude to India for preventing attempts to politicise the G20,” he said, adding the West will not be able to remain a “hegemony” as we see new centres of power coming up in the world.

On challenges emanating from climate change, the Russian foreign minister said the Western powers have done nothing on its promise of providing USD 100 billion annually to developing nations to deal with climate change.

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