G20 agenda hijacked by ‘some countries’ – Russian envoy
The upcoming G20 summit, an informal gathering of the world’s largest economies which India will host next week, could be used by “some countries” to push their agenda regarding the Ukraine crisis instead of focusing on global economic and financial issues, Moscow believes.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi a week before global leaders land in India’s capital for the summit, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said, “Unfortunately, the Indian presidency [of the G20] experiences strong pressure from some countries who, in Russia’s opinions, hijacked the G20 agenda, making the Ukrainian crisis one of the topics.”
Reiterating Moscow’s long-held stance, Alipov recalled that the G20 should focus on economic and financial issues. “But since last year, it was decided by some members of the group to discuss political issues... something that we do not accept,” Alipov stated, adding that if there is no consensus on the issue being a part of agenda, it should be removed.
“The G20 has been established to respond to financial and economic problems that the world faces, not geopolitical problems,” he said, noting that Moscow is open to discussions on the Ukraine conflict at other forums that are appropriate for it.
Moscow has supported the priorities of India’s G20 presidency, including sustainable development and climate finance, inclusive growth, and digital transformation, the ambassador noted, adding that Russia hopes the outcome of the summit “will reflect the agenda India has put forth.”
Underscoring India’s role in international affairs, which he said will only continue to grow, New Delhi “will be one of the centers of decision making very soon,” he stated, adding that Moscow supports India’s permanent membership at the UN Security Council.
“Internationally, our priority remains to support a just, equal, and multipolar world, and the BRICS and SCO expansions reflect the growing interests of the developing world, the Global South, towards more equal and more just, inclusive global governance which the ‘Collective West’ continues to dominate,” Alipov said.
Regarding Russia’s views on the ongoing tensions between India and China, the diplomat noted that Moscow’s relations with New Delhi, as well as with Beijing, have been “wholesome.”
“We do not develop our relationship with any country at the expense of relationship with the other [countries],” he said.
Alipov underlined the robust growth of Russian-Indian bilateral trade over the past year. While the two countries continue to face issues regarding the payment mechanism in their national currencies, which has not been performing at full capacity, according to the diplomat, due to the “reluctance” of Indian banks to process transactions out of fear of US sanctions, the overall dynamic has been positive.
Alipov also noted that the countries have been focusing on increasing Indian exports to Russia. “This is an opportune time for Indian business to export to Russia,” he said, referring to gaps in the Russian market following the withdrawal of Western companies.