Russia: All set for stormy G20 meet as Russia, China and G7 ministers arrive in India | India News


NEW DELHI: Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang Tuesday confirmed his participation in the G20 meeting on March 2 but Japan, one of India’s key partners in the Indo-Pacific, will likely be represented by a junior minister. In the meantime, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was among the first to arrive as he landed here Tuesday night while United States secretary of state Antony Blinken will arrive on Wednesday.
Both Lavrov and Blinken are expected to have respective bilateral meetings with foreign minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday.
Japan foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who called for global efforts at the United Nations last week to force Russia to withdraw from Ukraine


may not travel to India because of a “scheduling conflict” with an impending Parliament session. Diplomatic sources said South Korea, another important East Asian partner, will also be represented by a junior minister as foreign minister Park Jin is busy with “domestic affairs’’.


While announcing Qin’s visit, the Chinese foreign ministry said China stood ready to work with all parties to ensure the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting sends a positive signal on “multilateralism, food and energy security and development cooperation”. The visit is significant as it will also be Qin’s first visit to India as foreign minister and only the second high-level visit from China – after his predecessor Wang Yi’s last year – since the military stand-off in eastern Ladakh started in April-May 2020. Official sources said Qin was likely to have a bilateral meeting with foreign minister Jaishankar.
On the Japanese foreign minister, official sources played down the development saying there was no official announcement about who was going to represent Japan and that Hayashi’s visit wasn’t entirely ruled out. Hayashi is also scheduled to participate in a Quad ministerial on March 3. A source said he could still participate in the meeting virtually. Japan, which will host the G7 summit in May this year, has had some reservations about India’s position on the Ukraine issue but Indian officials strongly denied that Hayashi’s likely absence was an intended snub. “Japan is sending one of the largest delegations to the meeting,” said a source.
That the G20 meetings on Thursday will be tempestuous was again obvious Tuesday with the European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell saying he will convey a strong message on Russia’s “blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, and its global consequences, in particular on energy and food insecurity’’ and the Russian foreign ministry declaring Lavrov will make an open statement about “causes and masterminds’’ of problems in global politics.
TASS reported Tuesday Moscow will also present an “unbiased picture’’ of Nord Stream pipeline explosions which Russia has described as terrorist attacks. Lavrov has accused the US of being directly involved in the blasts that damaged Nord Stream, a network of undersea pipelines that runs from Russia to Germany.
The G20 foreign ministers’ meeting will officially begin Wednesday with a reception and conversation over dinner that will be hosted by Jaishankar. While a joint statement, like with the finance ministers’ meeting, is unlikely, the government is hoping the outcome will again reflect the Bali consensus with its emphasis on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that this isn’t the era of war. For India’s presidency, the challenge is to build a consensus, overriding differences between G7/ EU and Russia and China, that will allow the group to work towards macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth or objectives it was originally meant to achieve.


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