Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov travelled to the Indonesian island of Bali to attend the meeting of G-20 foreign ministers, which is expected to cast a shadow over the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
The G-20 meeting continues until Friday in Indonesia. Security was tight Thursday in Bali’s Nusa Dua district, where the summit is being held, with foreign diplomats arriving on the tropical island for the meeting.
German Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock said before arriving in Bali that Russia should not be allowed to use the G20 meeting as a platform in light of its war in Ukraine.
“It is in all of our interests to ensure respect for and adherence to international law,” Birbock said in a statement. This is the common denominator between us.”
The summit will see Lavrov’s first face-to-face meeting with some of Russia’s biggest critics since the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation”.
As per the sources, Lavrov had reached Bali and was planning to meet some of his counterparts in the Group of Twenty on the sidelines of the summit, but ministers including Birbock and her American counterpart Anthony Blinken ruled out meeting with Lavrov.
The Group of Twenty includes Western countries that accused Moscow of committing war crimes in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on it, as well as countries such as China, Indonesia, India and South Africa, which remained more silent.
Some officials from Europe and the United States stressed that the Bali summit would not be “as usual”.
Senior officials from Britain, Canada and the United States walked out as Russian representatives spoke at a G-20 financial meeting in Washington in April.
Despite statements about boycotting the following G-20 meetings, analysts say. Western countries seem to have decided that leaving the stage to Russia would not be worthwhile.
The agenda for the two-day meeting includes a discussion of energy and food security, as Russia is accused of fueling the global food crisis and making inflation worse by blocking Ukraine’s grain shipments. Russia says it is ready to facilitate the export of grain without hindrance.