In a move that heightens diplomatic tensions, Russia has issued a warning that it may veto the final declaration of the forthcoming G20 summit if it fails to incorporate Moscow’s position regarding Ukraine and other global crises. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivered this ultimatum, adding a layer of uncertainty to the international gathering scheduled for September 9-10 in New Delhi.
Lavrov, a long-serving foreign minister in President Vladimir Putin’s government since 2004, is set to represent Russia at the Group of 20 (G20) meeting, which includes leading industrialized and developing countries from around the world. Notably, President Putin has not traveled abroad since March, when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him on suspicion of war crimes related to the conflict in Ukraine.
In his statement, Lavrov declared, “There will be no general declaration on behalf of all members if our position is not reflected.” He made these remarks while addressing students at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
The Ukraine conflict, which began with Russia’s invasion in February 2022, has become a central point of contention between Moscow and the West. The Kremlin portrays the war as an existential struggle against Western ambitions to dismantle Russia and gain control over its abundant natural resources. The West denies these claims, emphasizing its support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s military actions and its imposition of multiple rounds of economic sanctions in response to the invasion, which Russia describes as a “special military operation.”
While other major powers like China, India, and Brazil have called for peace, they have also reserved the right to determine their own relationships with Moscow. China, in particular, has accused the West of exacerbating the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Lavrov asserted that the West had brought up the Ukraine issue during preparatory meetings for the G20 summit, to which Russia responded that “the issue is closed for us.” He criticized Western nations for undermining international institutions by advancing their own agendas.
As tensions mount, Lavrov proposed two potential outcomes for the G20 meeting. One option is the issuance of a non-binding communique if consensus cannot be reached, effectively downgrading the significance of the summit’s outcome. The other option would involve adopting a document that focuses solely on specific decisions within the G20’s jurisdiction, allowing each nation to express the rest of its positions independently.
With the threat of a potential diplomatic standoff at the G20 summit, the international community watches closely as Russia’s stance on Ukraine continues to be a significant point of contention in global affairs.
Sources By Agencies