Representatives of several countries leave the G20 session during the intervention of the Russian minister

G20
AFP

Several finance ministers and governors of central banks of the G20 left the plenary session or turned off their screens to protest against the presence of Russia, which invaded Ukraine. They were meeting Wednesday on the sidelines of IMF and World Bank sessions.

G20 session

The Indonesian presidency of the G20 came under pressure to exclude Moscow from the G20, but refused because it wanted to remain “impartial”. Others have also been adopting a rather neutral position, such as Mexico or Brazil. In fact, sources from the Brazilian Ministry of Economy told AFP that the country did not participate in the boycott.

“War is incompatible with cooperation,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire declared at the opening of the G20 meeting, calling on Russia to “refrain from participating in the meetings.”

His Russian counterpart, Anton Siluanov, replied that “the G20 has always been and continues to be above all an economic forum.”

The G20 is made up of the United States, the European Union, China, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, India, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa. and Turkey.

boycott

Failing to get Moscow excluded, ministers like US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen decided to boycott sessions in which Russian officials would speak.

“This week’s meetings in Washington are aimed at sustaining the world economy, and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine poses a grave threat to the world economy,” Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted.

“Russia should not participate or be included in these meetings,” he added, accompanying his tweets with a photo of Western officials “leaving the G20 plenary when Russia tried to intervene.”

Those who left include Yellen and British representatives, according to London.

A source close to the US delegation noted that some ministers and governors who were participating virtually “turned off their cameras.”

This incident took place “without disturbing” the debate, assured Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesian Finance Minister at a press conference.

The G7 ministers also managed to get Ukrainian Finance Minister Serguii Marchenko to participate in the meeting even though his country is not a member of the G20.

Tribune for Moscow?

German Finance Minister Christian Linder defended Berlin’s participation in all sessions.

“We will not offer Russia a platform to spread its propaganda and its lies,” he told reporters in Washington.

According to a source close to the German delegation, Lindner has also “strongly contested” the positions of Russian officials.

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It is the first time the G20 has met since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The last time was in Jakarta, where they pledged to coordinate for a “stronger” global recovery.

But the Russian offensive has darkened the picture, driving up inflation and causing a food crisis.

The Russian minister blamed sanctions.

“Obviously, with the sanctions, the supply of the market is artificially restricted, which causes an imbalance and a sharp rise in prices,” he said.

The director general of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, urged the G20 to continue cooperating despite the tensions.

“The members underlined the crucial role of the G20 as the main forum for economic cooperation,” said the Indonesian minister, at a bad time for global growth (the IMF forecasts 3.6% for this year).

Before the G20, the IMF and the World Bank called for the essentials of these meetings not to be forgotten: guarantee food security and apply the G20 “common framework” to restructure the debt of poor countries.

“There were many discussions about the transparency” of the debt, Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. “Some member countries have called for a more credible and predictable mechanism.”

But the application of this framework has not materialized due to the weak participation of China, the main creditor of the poor countries.

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