Biden loses G20 fight, needs to see Putin in Jakarta

Washington punch-drunk after G20 blow

The United States failed to exclude Russia from G20. Washington has been stabbed in the back.

The UK, the USA and Canada left the meeting of the G20 financial bloc. Everyone else stayed to listen to the speech from Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors met on April 21 at a conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The meeting discussed issues of food security, recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and military operations in Ukraine.
President of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell and head of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde did not listen to the Russian minister. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva decided to stay.

Before the start of the G20 U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told her counterpart from Indonesia that there would be no "business-as-usual" for Russia in the global economy.

Indonesia is set to host the G20 in November this year, and the Russian embassy has signaled President Vladimir Putin plans to attend. President Biden and other Western leaders have called for Russia to be thrown out of the event.

Indonesia and other countries need Russia strong

In a situation where someone wants to exclude such an influential country as Russia from international relations, there is a division into two camps. On the one hand, Western countries support the USA. On the other hand, countries tend to create a multipolar world that want to become more independent in alliance with Russia.

Indonesia has made it clear that topics related to the situation in Russia and Ukraine will not be discussed.

Indonesia, along with India and Egypt, was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. It is a forum of 120 countries that were not formally affiliated with or opposed to any major power bloc during the Cold War.

The main thing that worries Jakarta is the rise in energy prices. Indonesia has said it is ready to finance India to supply Russian crude at a discount of $35 below the market price per barrel.

In addition, Jakarta needs Russia as an alternative arms supplier. The country does not want to repeat the mistakes that the United States forced it to stop buying the latest Russian fighter jets some time ago.

Many G20 countries directly supported the Russian Federation. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa blamed NATO for the crisis in Ukraine. Brazil's Foreign Minister, Carlos França, said isolation was not helping to end the fighting. It is necessary to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table to implement a lasting peace solution.

Many countries of the world need Russian wheat, diamonds, gas, nuclear power and so on. 

Argentina was hurt by the West too

The position of Argentina is also indicative. Economy Minister Martin Guzman refused to ignore Russia in the G20, Argentine press said.

This issue has been discussed by Argentina at the highest diplomatic level with China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and Mexico.

None of these countries agrees with the exclusion of Russia from the G20, according to the Argentine Foreign Ministry.

Buenos Aires became the target of harassment after the 2001 riots due to the difficult economic situation in the country. At that time, several countries proposed to exclude Argentina from the G20, allegedly due to unpaid debts to countries and companies. In fact, the countries wanted to remove the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

IMF needs Russia, but Russia needs no IMF

Russia has blocked an IMF resolution condemning the special operation in Ukraine. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that it was a "difficult moment” for the Group of 20 economies with tensions over Russia's operation in Ukraine, but she insisted that G20 cooperation must continue to deal with pressing problems.

"Make a list of questions that no country can solve on its own,” she said, "and it's obvious that cooperation must continue.''

The IMF has not provided loans to Russia for several decades nor does it support any programs in the country. This means that it is the IMF that needs Russia's fees, whereas Russia does not have a need in the IMF.

US does not profit from ignoring G20

US allies in the EU did not support the US position. Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, said G20 members would have to decide, but the matter was not a priority at the moment.

"When it comes to the question of how to proceed with the G20, it is imperative to discuss this question with the countries that are involved and not to decide individually," Scholz said. "It is quite clear that we are busy with something else than coming together in such meetings.

Apparently, there will be no consensus on the exclusion of Russia from the G20. US officials have not announced yet whether Joe Biden was going to attend the summit.

This situation is disadvantageous for the United States, because the summit will take place even in the absence of US representatives. The East and Latin America will quickly fill empty space, and the Anglo-Saxons will not notice how they find themselves on the sidelines of history. Leaving an event in protest looks like an act of defeat.

Will Putin be present?

"It will depend on many things, including the Covid situation that is getting better. But, so far yes, the intention is [for Putin] to come," Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva said.

G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, US and EU.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Petr Ermilin