G20 Summit: EU expresses concern over draft joint communique on Ukraine issue


New Delhi: European Union officials have indicated their disapproval of the draft text for the joint communique scheduled for release at the New Delhi G20 Summit, citing disagreements over language related to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The conflict has been a point of contention within the G20 since last year. The 2022 G20 Summit in Bali produced a joint declaration that criticized Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” reads the 2022 joint declaration.

It also speaks of the need to uphold international law and defend principles laid down by the Charter of the United Nations. While Russia and China agreed to this language in 2022, they have since refused to agree to this language during India’s G20 Presidency. EU officials expressed their frustration with this change of stance, which has forced India to release outcome statements, and not joint communiques, through this year’s G20 proceedings. .

However, EU officials also reflected that they were willing to be flexible on the exact wording to reach an agreement on the subject.

“We showed in Bali that we’re willing to go to great lengths to accept consensual language. We accepted, for example, that the condemnation of Russia was clarified as being one that most countries share, not all. We certainly are willing and able to find a solution,” said Germany’s G20 Sherpa Jorg Kukies in an interview with Mint last month.

Matters, however, are not helped by the absence of both Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping from the upcoming G20 Summit.