A week before the G-20 summit in New Delhi, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov on September 1 came out strongly against western attempts to foreground the Ukraine crisis at the multilateral platform saying that political issues should not be raised in keeping with the tradition of G-20. He further said the language of Bali Declaration 2022 that had mention of Ukraine will have to change when the G-20 countries meet in New Delhi.
“Unfortunately, Indian Presidency in G-20 has experienced very strong pressure from some countries who in Russia’s opinion hijacked the G-20’s agenda making the Ukrainian crisis as one of the top issues. G-20 should focus on economic issues and finance but since last year it was decided by some members of the group to discuss political issues within the G-20 - something that we do not accept. If there is no consensus on something then the items without consensus should be removed taking into account that political issues have never been discussed in G-20,” said Ambassador Alipov during an interaction with the media at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC). The Russian envoy said that even if the majority of members of G-20 support an item with a few like Russia standing away - such an item should not be on the agenda of G-20.
Referring to the Bali Declaration of 2022, he expressed Russia’s disapproval and said, “West should be open to change the para, the Bali para, they want to retain that.”
The Russian Ambassador’s combative articulation of the Russian position in the upcoming summit gave a hint of the line that his side will take during the exchanges in the summit where the Russian delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. President Vladimir Putin earlier this week spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conveyed his inability to attend the summit as he remains occupied with the ongoing “special military campaign” in Ukraine.
The envoy highlighted that Russia supports a “just and equal” international order as reflected in the recent expansion of the BRICS and SCO groupings. “India’s clout has risen very rapidly and there is no going back. It has to express its legitimate voice regarding global politics, United Nations. Russia has consistently supported full membership [of India] at the UN Security Council. All such recent developments [at BRICS and SCO] strengthen the voice of Global South at the G-20,” said Ambassador Alipov.
Mr Alipov expressed support for the G-20 summit and said Russia hopes that the summit would be successful while maintaining that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not made any peace proposal for the resolution of the Ukraine war. He dismissed the 10-point formula of President Zelensky as “nothing but a set of ultimatums” that Russia will not support.
“The success of G-20 rests very largely on the goodwill of those who insist on some ‘non-consensus’ issues on the agenda. We have very strongly supported the priorities on the agenda that India has put forward at G-20 and we hope that the outcome will reflect the agenda India has put forth,” said Ambassador Alipov.
Mr. Alipov defended Moscow’s relations with both New Delhi and Beijing and described them as “wholesome” and argued that his country will not give up on ties with India even in case of hostilities between India and China saying, “We shall never sacrifice our relation in case of any unfortunate development [between India and China]. Be it any kind of development.”
“Russia may not like something that India does or India may not be happy with happenings inside Russia, but Indo-Russian bonding has never been affected by any geopolitical changes,” said Mr. Alipov.