In the midst of severe divides between Russia and the West, India, which began its year-long G20 presidency on Thursday, and Indonesia, the previous president, played a key role in finalizing a common communique at the Bali summit.
India said on Thursday that it expects Russia to participate in all G20 activities as it assumed the group’s chair against the backdrop of ongoing disagreements among its members over the Ukraine war.
“Russia is a member of the G20, so we would expect them to participate in these processes,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry, during a weekly media briefing, in response to questions about the G20’s divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Bagchi stated that the G20 operates under the important principle of consensus, and that India’s efforts as president of the grouping of the world’s 20 largest economies will be aimed at fostering consensus. This was India’s stance at the G20 Summit in Bali last month, and it will continue, he said.
“I wouldn’t be able to say much else except that the grouping needs to speak with one voice, especially on significant global problems.” “We will undoubtedly concentrate on issues impacting the developing world, the Global South, such as food, fuel, and fertilizers,” he stated.
In the midst of severe divides between Russia and the West, India, which began its year-long G20 presidency on Thursday, and Indonesia, the previous president, played a key role in finalizing a common communique at the Bali summit. On Wednesday, German Ambassador Philipp Ackermann stated that dealing with the aftermath from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be one of the “most difficult topics” for India’s G20 leadership.
“The decisive moment will be September  when the [G20] summit comes together.
But as it stands now, I think dealing with Russia will be one of the most difficult issues in this [G20] presidency,” Ackermann to reporters.
Bagchi pointed out that the world order has changed and structures and institutions of the past need to change to tackle contemporary challenges. India’s part in the G20 reflects these changes and the world cannot work with the structures of the past to address the challenges of today, he said.
In response to a separate query about a media claim that sanctions-hit Russia had handed India a list of more than 500 products it needs, including car, plane, and train parts, as well as raw materials, Bagchi responded, “We have frequent contact with Russia on how to sustain and develop trade.” This has been going on for a long time. Both countries occasionally suggest topics of interest or priority that they may be looking into.”
“I would advise that nothing more be read into this,” he continued.
The Indian government has not publicly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it has expanded its purchases of Russian petroleum and fertilizer in recent months.