G20 Meeting In India Ends Without Communiqué, Division On Ukraine, Despite Yellen Pleading Redoubled Support

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 18, 2023 - 01:50 PM

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged the West and global allies to redouble support for war-ravaged Ukraine on the same weekend that The New York Times ran a headline which indicated, "After Suffering Heavy Losses, Ukrainians Paused To Rethink Strategy".

"Ending this war is first and foremost a moral imperative," she told reporters on sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers' Summit in India. "But it's also the single best thing we can do for the global economy."

She began by listing her priorities for the G20 in a press conference given in Gandhinagar by saying, "Today, I want to speak about four priorities we will focus on this week: debt distress in emerging markets and developing countries, multilateral development bank evolution, support for Ukraine, and the global tax deal."

"As you know, I have pushed hard – both in public and in private – for timely debt treatments for countries in need of relief. Over the past few years, we have seen debt vulnerabilities mount for many countries as a result of the pandemic and Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine," Yellen continued. "Today, over half of all low-income countries are near or in debt distress."

Under the Biden administration, the US has pumped over $75 billion in assistance to Ukraine, including massive and unprecedented amounts of military support.

And yet even top Pentagon officials have increasingly come out in public to lament the 'stalemated' nature of the conflict at this point, as well as highlighted the risks of stumbling into a nuclear-armed WW3 scenario with Russia. 

"Certainly we are at a bit of a stalemate," DIA Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer said at a conference last Thursday, according to Bloomberg. "One of the things that the Russian leadership believes is that they can outlast the support of the West."

Treasury Secretary Yellen had elsewhere affirmed here position that it is "premature" to talk of lifting tariffs on China, among other notable talking points.

AFP/Getty Images

But at the G20 meeting, Ukraine seems to have been the great divide, as Reuters is reporting Tuesday that there won't be a final communique issued given the deep and obvious divisions on policy

Two days of talks between economic and finance policymakers from the Group of 20 nations will wrap up on Tuesday without a joint statement due to differences between major powers over the war in Ukraine, according to Indian officials hosting the meeting.

During its presidency of the G20, India is hoping to forge a consensus on reforms for multilateral banks, a global guiding principle on cryptocurrencies and accelerate the debt resolution of vulnerable countries, but the Russia-Ukraine conflict has cast a long shadow over global diplomacy.

"Most western countries including the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany and France had pushed for a firm condemnation of Russia and the war in Ukraine, whereas Russia and its friend China had opposed any such move, the official added," Reuters notes further.

According to more details:

And, India, as host nation, has been unable to draft a final communique acceptable to all members, the official said, as some countries insisted on calling the conflict a war, while Russia refers to its campaign, now in its sixteenth month, as a "special military operation".

India has adopted a largely neutral stance, declining to blame Russia for the invasion and urging a diplomatic solution, while also increasing purchases of discounted oil from Russia.

So Yellen's attempt to rally the summit firmly behind the Ukraine cause has failed, as skepticism of Washington and NATO's motives grow among global partners, particularly BRICS countries.

* * *

Below is the full section of her Sunday press remarks on Ukraine:

"Another key priority this week is to redouble our support for Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked attack. My visit to Kyiv earlier this year still deeply moves me to this day. Seeing the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people up close impacted me personally. During the trip, I also saw the massive difference that foreign assistance is making to the lives of Ukrainian civilians and the Ukrainian military’s front lines. As I’ve said, ending this war is first and foremost a moral imperative. But it’s also the single best thing we can do for the global economy."

"Let me be clear: our coalition’s support for Ukraine is unequivocal. The United States will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. And I know the allies and partners in our coalition will do so as well. Budgetary support is critical to Ukraine’s resistance. And the United States is proud to be part of a broad coalition that has provided such support to Ukraine. By helping keep the economy and the government running, we are giving Ukraine the support it needs so it can fight for freedom and its sovereignty. We will also continue to cut off Russia’s access to the military equipment and technologies that it needs to wage war against Ukraine. One of our core goals this year is to combat Russia’s efforts to evade our sanctions. Our coalition is building on the actions we’ve taken in recent months to crack down on these efforts."