US, UK set to boycott parts of G20 event — Analysis
Western officials wish to stay clear of a Russian representative during a crucial meeting in Washington
Due to Russia’s planned participation, some Western countries are boycotting parts of Wednesday’s G20 summit finance ministers. The US called for Russia’s expulsion from the club of the world’s most powerful economies over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is heading Moscow’s delegation at the event on Wednesday in Washington and will be participating via a video link, the ministry confirmed this week.
Janet Yellen is the US Treasury Secretary “has made clear that she isn’t planning to attend events or meetings that the Russians are participating in,”Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said Monday in a daily update that she was commenting on the forthcoming meeting.
The secretary’s participation was confirmed by her department on the same day. She previously pledged to boycott any events involving Russia and called for Moscow’s full expulsion from the club. After Indonesia, currently the chair of the G20, confirmed that Moscow was invited, it became clear that her participation in the gathering was questionable.
A Washington Post source says that Yellen will attend only the opening session and use it to support Ukraine. She will also meet Denis Shmyhal, the Ukrainian Prime Minister.
The British Chancellor and Exchequer Rishi Sunak is reported to be following the same strategy for the G20. Sources from Reuters claim that he will not attend any sections where Russia is represented.
The US and its allies are using diplomatic pressure against Russia to unite the world, but it hasn’t been very effective in non-Western nations, even some of the economic powerhouses.
China openly blamed NATO for creating the conditions for triggering Russia’s attack against Ukraine and repeatedly criticized economic sanctions as a tool of coercion in international relations. India increased its trade relations with Russia, despite Western requests to the contrary.
One of the biggest international events where such a split could be highlighted is the G20. The annual summit of the leaders of members states will be held in Indonesia this November. Russia puts much value in its participation, saying the G20 is far more representative of the world community than the “obsolete” West-dominated G7.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German diplomats brokered the protocols to ensure that the region was granted special status by the Ukrainian state.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself neutral in order to be able to join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.
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