Previously we noted how despite the best efforts of Washington and its Western partners, the G20 summit was unable to produce a statement condemning Russia and its invasion of Ukraine. Biden clearly failed to rally allies especially among BRICS and global south countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is at the G20 in New Delhi representing the absent President Vladimir Putin, is gloating over the Western allies' failure at "Ukrainizing" the summit's agenda, according to his remarks published in Russian media and Reuters.
He told a Sunday press briefing that the Russian delegation had stood firm "to protect their legitimate interests," and were thus able "to prevent the West from once again Ukrainizing the entire agenda". He hailed the summit as a "success".
Lavrov then pointed to the G20 agreed upon declaration which merely "mentions the Ukraine crisis, but only in the context of the need to resolve all conflicts" - which he said is language in line with the principles of the UN Charter.
He further suggested that the US didn't get its way of turning the Group of 20 into a "politicized club" - but instead the final declaration that was adopted "highlighted the human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine with regard to global food and energy security, supply chains, macro-financial stability, inflation and growth."
The top Russian diplomat explained that this agenda was thwarted largely through the collective efforts of developing nations and the interests of the global south, led especially by India, the host country. Per Reuters:
The Global South's position in the talks helped prevent the G20 agenda from being overshadowed by Ukraine, he told a press conference. "India has truly consolidated G20 members from the Global South."
And more via The Moscow Times:
"The text doesn't mention Russia at all," Russia's veteran diplomat said.
"The Indian presidency has really managed to coalesce G20 members from the global south," he added, suggesting that Russian allies like Brazil, South Africa, India and China had made their voices heard.
CNN had also observed Saturday, "Diplomats had been working furiously to draft a final joint statement in the lead-up to the summit but hit snags on language to describe the Ukraine war." The mainstream publication then presented it as a defeat for the White House's hopes: "The eventual compromise statement amounted to a coup for the summit’s host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but still reflected a position far softer those the United States and its Western allies have adopted individually."
The section of the G20 declaration where the US, UK and Europe hoped to include more teeth indeed failed to so much as mention Russia at all. "All states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition," it reads. And the declaration added more mutedly: "there were different views and assessments of the situation."
Some pundits noted that the final declaration's language was very favorable to Moscow's view of the conflict...
🔹And then we removed all wordings such as ‘Russian aggression’ & ‘condemn’ from the G20 resolution! 😂— S.L. Kanthan (@Kanthan2030) September 10, 2023
🔹Wait, it’s even better. It’s now called “war IN Ukraine” and not “war AGAINST Ukraine.”😂😂
Modi and Lavrov at #G20Summit2023
Big win for Putin. Big L for Sleepy Biden. pic.twitter.com/odh4BTnCJy
French President Emmanuel Macron tried to salvage it as in no way a diplomatic victory for Russia, telling a press conference, "This G20 confirms once again the isolation of Russia. Today, an overwhelming majority of G20 members condemn the war in Ukraine and its impact."
But at the same time, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida underscored the fractured perspective and disunity on sensitive issue. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine is something that could shake the foundation of cooperation at G20," he admitted.