A declaration released by the Group of 20 on Saturday did not appear to condemn Russia for the invasion of Ukraine – a stark difference from the group’s statement about the war last year.
The summit, which kicked off in New Delhi, India on Saturday, did not include China’s Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both leaders decided not to come this year, despite their eligibility.
While the G20 acknowledged “human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine,” their statement did not include any harsh language towards Russia.
“Concerning the war in Ukraine, while recalling the discussion in Bali, we reiterated our national positions and resolutions adopted at the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly […] and underscored that all states must act in a manner consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter in its entirety,” the joint statement read.
“All states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state,” the statement added. “The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”
In their declaration, the G20 stressed that their forum’s purpose was for economic discussions rather than security issues. They referenced how the Russo-Ukrainian War hurt global food supply and energy security, among other issues, but concluded that “there were different views and assessments of the situation.”
“Reaffirming that the G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and recognizing that while the G20 is not the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues, we acknowledge that these issues can have significant consequences for the global economy,” the group added.
The milquetoast statement was a dramatic difference from the group’s statement at the Bali summit last November.
“[This group] deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine,” the statement read. “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.”
The summit ends on Sunday. The group’s agenda for the weekend includes food security, digital public infrastructure and fossil fuel alternatives.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.