Ukraine war overshadows G20 financial meetings


The financial leaders of the Group of 20 richest and largest economies agreed at a meeting in the Indonesian resort island of Bali this week on the need to work together to tackle global evils like inflation development and the food crisis, but failed to bridge the differences in the war in Ukraine.

As this year’s G-20 host, Indonesia has sought to narrow divisions among G-20 members over Russia’s aggression, but the enmity in the conflict was evident even when Finance ministers and central bankers concur on other global challenges made worse by war.

All participants agreed the meeting took place “in a very challenging and difficult situation due to geopolitical tensions,” Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Saturday.

She said the delegates had “expressed sympathy that Indonesia must manage this situation.”

Indrawati and Indonesia’s central bank Governor Perry Warjiyo said Indonesia will then issue a G-20 President’s statement that includes two paragraphs describing areas where the parties disagree.

Indrawati said there are still irreconcilable issues, “because they want to express their views regarding the war. speak.

Indrawati outlined a range of areas where members agreed, including the need to improve food security, support the creation of a funding mechanism for pandemic preparedness, prevention and response, on moving towards a global tax agreement and financial facilitation of transitions towards cleaner energy in response to climate change.

“The progress is better than expected,” Warjiyo said.

With inflation at a four-decade high – US consumer prices rose 9.1% in June – Warjiyo said participants were “strongly committed to achieving price stability”.

“The G-20 is committed to fine-tuning its macroeconomic policy to tackle inflation and slowing growth,” he said.

The Bali meetings that followed a meeting of G-20 foreign ministers earlier this month also failed to find common ground on Russia’s war in Ukraine and its global implications.

During talks that began on Friday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemned Moscow for the “innocent lives lost and the human and economic toll that the war is causing around the world.” gender”.

“Russia bears full responsibility for the negative effects on the global economy, especially higher commodity prices,” she said.

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland likened the attendance of Russian officials at the meetings to “an arsonist joins the fire brigade“War is waged by economic technocrats, as well as by generals,” she said in a Twitter post.

Russian officials are said to have blamed Western sanctions on the war for exacerbating inflation and the food crisis.

Indrawati said the closed G-20 talks did not include discussion of Russia’s proposals to cap oil prices – one of Yellen’s main goals as the US and its allies seek to curb its ability to finance the oil market. Moscow’s war.

Such discussions will take place on the sidelines of the meeting, she said.

The Bali talks saw more progress than the previous G-20 financial meeting in Washington in April, when officials from the US, UK, France, Canada and Ukraine came out to protest. the participation of Russian envoys. That meeting also ended without a joint statement.

Caught in the middle as host, Indonesia has called on officials from all sides to overcome mistrust for the sake of a planet facing many challenges.

“The world needs more and more collaboration. no matter what country it is… they can’t solve this problem alone. Indrawati said.

“We all agree that the spirit of cooperation and multilateralism should continue,” she said.

The meetings also tackled the debt problems piled up in countries such as Zambia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Although the G-20 “is not a creditors’ forum, there is a recognition that debt is growing,” Indrawati said.

The negotiations focused on a framework to enable creditor and debtor countries to come up with solutions that would help countries in need.

“When a country has an unsustainable debt, they have to contact their creditors,” she said.


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