G20 India split on war. No final statement, plus Russia lacks condemnation of China

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The G20 Finance meeting in Bangalore failed to find a unanimous position on the war in Ukraine: the summit in India ended without an official statement. In its place, a summary of the Indian presidency which confines itself to reiterating the condemnation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict already expressed last November in Bali, supported by “most of the member countries” but without the endorsement, beyond Russia, also from China. In any case, the summary note defines any “use of nuclear weapons” as “unacceptable”, while it is “essential” to support “international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability”, in particular the protection of civilians and infrastructures in armed conflicts: Beijing and Moscow have not signed the paragraphs with these considerations.

“The war in Ukraine is exacerbating economic fragility”

Instead of the traditional joint press release, this time a “Chair’s Summary and Outcome Document” emerges. In the two paragraphs not approved by the Russian Federation and China, the G20 presidency writes that “since February 2022, we have seen the war in Ukraine negatively affecting the global economy”. We reaffirmed the national positions expressed in other forums, including the UN Security Council and the General Assembly”, which by a majority condemned the invasion by Russia and called for its withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. “Most of the members – continues the summary – strongly condemned the war in Ukraine underlining that it is causing immense suffering and exacerbating previous fragility of the global economy”. However, at the Bangalore meeting “there were other points of view and assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognizing that the G20 is not the forum to solve security problems, we nevertheless know that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy”.

“Global economic outlook improved, but growth still low”

A slightly positive note encountered by the G20 is the trend of the world economy, albeit with all the difficulties highlighted. Since the last meeting in Bali, the representatives of the finances of the world powers acknowledge that “global economic prospects have improved moderately”. However, it is recognized that “global growth remains low” and that “downside risks remain”. Among them: “high inflation, a recovery from the pandemic and tightening financial conditions that could worsen the debt vulnerabilities of many emerging economies”.

Giorgetti: “War and climate increase differences”

On the war in Ukraine, before the start of work in Bangalore, the Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti had said that the G20 cannot “question what was approved in Bali and any other solution would be an unacceptable setback”. On the sidelines of the conclusions of the summit, Giorgetti instead reflected on the challenges that are marking the present, recognizing how the “contortions on Ukraine” and “above all” the climate crisis “complicate and increase divergences”. “energy security and food insecurity”. On Twitter, EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni writes that “the Russian invasion is the main destabilizing force of the global economy”.

Giorgetti: “Energy transition should have a global response”

Giorgetti then spoke of the “race for energy transition” which, together with the theme “of the control of critical raw materials”, is not only “dividing” but is also “causing a rift even on the western front between the USA and Europe, which in turn is very fragmented”. The search for a green transition process, says Giorgetti, should instead “have a global response”. Positive note for the legacies of the Italian G20 in Rome in 2021. “I am thinking of international taxation, from the two pillars – the right to tax and the global minimum tax – to the plan for the protection of health”, said Giorgetti.