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Big Brawl on Wording for G20 Declaration

Sept. 11, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—All indications are that the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration was an absolute brawl over whether or not to include language condemning Russia for its intervention into Ukraine—something which was put into last year’s G20 Bali Declaration. This year’s not only does not mention “Russia” or “Russian aggression,” but has changed from last year’s language of “war against Ukraine” to “war in Ukraine.”

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant tweeted on X that efforts to arrive at the compromise text over this language involved “over 200 hours of non-stop negotiations, 300 bilateral meetings (and) 15 drafts.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hailed the final version of the Declaration as a victory:

“I would also like to note the important role played by the Indian presidency, which, for the first time in the history of the G20, has consolidated its participants that represent the Global South. Our BRICS partners, particularly India, Brazil, and South Africa, were highly active in this regard. This consolidated position adopted by the Global South in defense of its legitimate interests helped thwart the West’s attempt to Ukrainianize the agenda at the expense of discussing pressing issues facing developing countries,”

he said at a press briefing on Sept. 10.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also sounded a happy note, accompanying photos of Lavrov and Modi shaking hands: “The G20 summit in Delhi has ended. Let me add: on a very positive note. India, thank you!” she wrote on her Telegram channel.

Kiev was not pleased. “G20 has nothing to be proud of,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote on X. Nikolenko then posted an image of the text, marked up with a bunch of bright red cross-outs and corrections added over top.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference at the conclusion of the summit that he had wanted the language to be much stronger. Trudeau called the G20 an “extremely disparate group,” and said that they worked very hard “to get as strong language as we possibly could.”

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