Russia’s war in Ukraine has dominated G20 deliberations, with hosts India warning that the intense tensions will prevent a joint declaration.
Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, said Russia’s “unprovoked and illegitimate war” had destroyed the summit.
In response, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of “blackmail and threats.”
India said Ukraine disagreements “could not be addressed,” preventing it from progressing discussions on other developing countries’ issues.
S. Jaishankar, India’s foreign minister, said the nations were too far apart.
The G20—the EU and the world’s 19 richest countries—generates 85% of the world’s economic output and is responsible for two-thirds of its population.
India led the foreign ministers, including Russia’s Lavrov, the US’s Blinken, and China’s Qin Gang, in Delhi. Senior American and Russian officials have not spoken since the war in Ukraine began a year ago.
A senior state department official said Mr. Blinken promised Mr. Lavrov that the West would assist Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” Mr. Blinken also urged Russia to comply with the New Start nuclear weapons control treaty, from which Russia has said it will withdraw.
Russia refused negotiations, claiming that the West had “buried” a deal to allow some grain exports from Ukraine, while the US countered that Moscow was blocking Ukrainian exports.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that global conflicts threatened sustainable development in his opening remarks.
“Many emerging nations are confronting enormous debts while trying to guarantee food and energy security,” he said. “Wealthier nations’ global warming affects them most.”
Mr. Modi gave his first English speech, demonstrating his seriousness. He knew geopolitics would affect the debate, but he didn’t mention Ukraine.
Thursday’s agenda reflected India’s goals as G20 chair: terrorism, food security, development cooperation and humanitarian help.
An ex-Indian diplomat told journalists before the discussions that India would need to “do something new” to convince attendees to set aside their conflict concerns. Tense US-China relations, caused by China’s refusal to denounce Russia’s invasion, were expected to test India’s capacity to reach a consensus.
But there were some positives.
“On the majority of themes we were able to get an outcome paper,” India’s foreign minister S. Jaishankar said, indicating that India achieved its main goal of speaking out for the Global South.
Delhi hopes to avoid a disastrous presidency before the G20 leaders meet in September.
Delhi had to combine its non-aligned position on the issue with calls for cooperation, experts said.
India has resisted efforts to criticise Russia, its biggest arms supplier. Last week, Iran abstained from voting on UN resolutions condemning the Ukraine war.
It also says it must purchase more Russian oil to meet its people’s needs.
EU statements on Ukraine have emphasised the UN Charter, international law, and state sovereignty/territorial integrity