The recent G20 summit held in the Indian capital has sparked controversy as Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its dissatisfaction with the joint declaration, deeming it “nothing to be proud of.” This sentiment stands in stark contrast to the previous G20 summit held in Bali, Indonesia, where the group issued a statement explicitly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The key point of contention revolves around the absence of any mention of Russia in connection with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine in the New Delhi declaration. Instead, the document emphasizes the importance of all countries respecting the territorial integrity of other nations. Oleg Nikolenko, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, took to social media to highlight the deficiencies in the declaration. He shared a screenshot of the relevant section, where he had crossed out several parts of the text in red and replaced them with wording that reflects Ukraine’s perspective, emphasizing Ukraine as a victim of unprovoked Russian aggression.
The stark difference in tone between the Bali and New Delhi declarations has not gone unnoticed. Last year, during the G20 summit in Bali, which took place more than eight months after the conflict began in Ukraine, the group issued a statement expressing strong condemnation of Russia’s actions against Ukraine. This clear stance was seen as a sign of international solidarity with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
In contrast, the New Delhi declaration chooses a more neutral approach, urging all nations to respect each other’s territorial integrity without explicitly naming Russia. This shift has left Ukraine disappointed and has raised questions about the G20’s stance on the ongoing conflict.
Adding to the complexity, this year’s G20 summit in New Delhi included an expanded list of attendees. In addition to the leaders of the 19 G20 nations and the European Union, India extended invitations to the heads of state or government from nine other countries. Notably, despite Western pressures, the Modi government decided not to include the President of Ukraine in this list of “special invitees,” a move that has garnered further attention and speculation about India’s diplomatic stance.
The contrasting declarations from the G20 summits in Bali and New Delhi highlight the evolving dynamics surrounding the conflict in Ukraine and the international community’s response to it. As tensions persist, the role of major global forums like the G20 in addressing such conflicts remains a subject of scrutiny and debate. Ukraine’s discontent with the New Delhi declaration serves as a reminder of the challenges in achieving consensus on sensitive international issues within the G20 framework.