Conflict in Ukraine confuses G20 agenda in Washington

The G20 rich, chaired by Indonesia this year, will meet in Washington on April 20 for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The G20 rich, chaired by Indonesia this year, will meet in Washington on April 20 for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Mast IRHAM / POOL / AFP / Archive).

The G20’s finance minister and central bankers are meeting Wednesday behind the war in Ukraine. This risks paralyzing the debate and jeopardizing progress on the implementation of a common framework for rebuilding the debt of the poorest countries.

This is the first time a G20 rich man has met since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th.

They broke up in Jakarta, Indonesia on February 18, a few days before the Russian offensive began, and promised to make adjustments for a “stronger” global recovery.

Russia’s offensive has greatly clouded the outlook, exacerbated inflation and caused a food crisis.

Indonesia, chairing the G20, reiterated that it would remain fair after calling for the exclusion of Russia from the meetings of 20 major global economic groups, including the United States, China, India, Brazil, Japan, France and Germany. rice field.

However, some ministers, including US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her French counterpart Bruno Le Mer, have decided to show their dissatisfaction by boycotting part of Wednesday’s session. I did.

IMF Growth Forecast
IMF Growth Forecast (/ AFP)

Nevertheless, they attend the opening ceremony dedicated to the world economy and point out how this conflict is affecting the world.

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its global growth forecast this year from 4.4% in January to 3.6%.

He also warned that the stalemate of war in Ukraine and stricter sanctions on Moscow would further undermine the world’s outlook.

Western nations responded to bloody onslaught with sanctions aimed at cutting off Russia’s financial resources. Some Russian banks have been excluded from Swift’s international payment system, and central banks have lost access to some of their reserves.

Moscow tribune?

However, the United States and other allies are in favor of increasing pressure on Moscow. Other countries, such as Germany, which rely on Russia for their energy supply, are less likely to follow suit.

German officials told AFP that the German delegation would attend the meeting on Wednesday “despite the possible presence of a Russian representative.”

German Treasury Minister Christian Lindner in Berlin, March 31, 2022
German Treasury Minister Christian Lindner (Tobias SCHWARZ / POOL / AFP / Archives) held in Berlin on March 31, 2022

“We have made it clear that Russia will not interfere with significant multilateral activities, either directly or indirectly,” they insisted.

German Treasury Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) himself told Bild on Monday that German authorities “will not leave lies and publicity unanswered.”

The French Ministry of Economy emphasizes that “most of the members of these organizations have a very strong will to condemn the invasion of Ukraine very clearly at each of these meetings.”

“At the G20, some G7 countries will probably attend the first part of the conference, but when Russia speaks, they can leave their chair (empty) at the ministerial level,” he explained.

In addition, several states, especially France, have requested an invitation from Ukraine’s Treasury Minister Marchenko to the G20. However, his virtual or face-to-face attendance has not been confirmed.

According to the German side, the method of dealing with Russian representatives has been the subject of “long debate,” especially within the G20 and G7 countries. Germany continued, “We will not provide Russia with a platform to defend against aggression against international law.”

In Europe as well as in the United States, there are doubts about the G20’s ability to agree on a common final declaration.

Despite the tensions surrounding the G20, the IMF and the World Bank are at risk that 60% of low-income countries are in excess of debt or will soon be.