April 2, 2023

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Russia's Putin gets Chinese support to stay in G20

Russia’s Putin gets Chinese support to stay in G20

  • The Russian leader plans to participate in the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia
  • The United States and its allies are considering preventing Russia from invading Ukraine
  • Sources say the move could face rebuttal from others in the G20
  • China: Russia is an important member of the group of major economies

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the next G20 summit in Indonesia later this year and received valuable support from Beijing on Wednesday, rejecting proposals from some members to bar Russia from joining the group.

Sources involved in the discussions told Reuters that the United States and its Western allies are considering whether Russia should remain among the major economies of the Group of Twenty (G20) following its invasion of Ukraine.

But the sources said any move to exclude Russia would likely be vetoed by other countries in the group, raising the possibility that some countries would abandon the G20 meetings instead. Read more

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Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20, said Putin plans to travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for a G20 summit in November.

“It will depend on many, many things, including the Covid situation, which improves. So far his intention is … he wants it,” Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobyeva told a news conference.

When asked about suggestions that Russia could be expelled from the G-20, she said it was a forum for discussing economic issues and not a crisis like Ukraine.

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“Of course expelling Russia from this kind of forum will not help solve these economic problems. On the contrary, without Russia it will be difficult to do this.”

China, which has not condemned the Russian invasion and criticized Western sanctions, defended Moscow on Wednesday, calling Russia an “important member” of the G20.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the G20 is a group that needs to find answers to critical issues, such as economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No member has the right to exclude another country from membership,” he told a news briefing. “The G20 must implement true multilateralism and promote unity and cooperation.”

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry declined to comment on calls for Russia to be excluded from the G20.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his forces into Ukraine on February 24 in what he called a “special military operation” to disarm and “disarm” the country. Ukraine and the West say Putin launched an unjustified war of aggression. Read more

“busy with something else”

Russia is facing an onslaught of international sanctions led by Western countries aimed at isolating it from the global economy, including cutting it off from the global banking messaging system SWIFT and restricting the dealings of its central bank.

Poland said on Tuesday that it had proposed to US trade officials that it replace Russia in the G-20 and that the proposal had received a “positive response”.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the G20 members had to make a decision, but the issue was not a priority now.

“When it comes to the question of how to move forward with the WTO (WTO) and the G20, it is necessary to discuss this issue with the countries involved and not make an individual decision,” Schulz said.

“Obviously we are busy with something other than meeting in such meetings. We urgently need a ceasefire.”

Russia’s participation in the G-20 will almost certainly be discussed on Thursday, when US President Joe Biden meets allies in Brussels.

“We believe it can’t be business as usual for Russia in international institutions and in the international community,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.

An EU source separately confirmed discussions about Russia’s status at the G20 meetings.

“He made it clear to Indonesia that Russia’s presence in the upcoming ministerial meetings would be a big problem for European countries,” the source said, adding that, however, there is no clear process for excluding a country.

Indonesia’s central bank deputy governor, Dhodi Budi Walyu, said on Monday that Jakarta’s stance was neutral and that it would use its G20 leadership to try to solve problems, but Russia had a “strong obligation” to attend and other members could not prevent it from attending. to do that.

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Additional reporting by Andrea Schallal and Alex Alper in Washington, Marek Strzelek in Warsaw, Jan Stropchevsky in Brussels, Emma Farge in Geneva, Jiatri Soroyo in Jakarta, Andreas Renke in Berlin and Yu Lun Tian in Beijing. Robert Persell and Mark Heinrich

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