‘No Business as Usual’: EU to Prevent Russia to Use G20 FM Meeting in Bali as ‚Propaganda Forum’

Written by | Thursday, July 14th, 2022

The European Union will prevent Russia using a G20 meeting in Indonesia as a “propaganda forum” for its disinformation on the impacts of its war in Ukraine, a spokeswoman to the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel said on Thursday (7 July). The G20 meeting is looking to tackle the war’s impact on food and energy security, as well as the global economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the ravages of climate change.
As the top US and Russian envoys gathered on Friday (8 July) for a Group of 20 foreign ministers meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, the host launched the meeting telling them the Ukraine war must end and differences be resolved through negotiations. “It is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not the battlefield,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi directly addressed the war, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the room. Energy and food crises exacerbated by Russia’s invasion “feature prominently on the agenda of the G20” meeting of foreign ministers, that were also attended by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. His spokeswoman stressed that Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s appalling war of aggression against Ukraine excludes any business as usual, and will be clearly addressed.”
Borrell has no meeting scheduled with Lavrov during the two-day gathering in Bali and there will also be no family photo of the G20 ministers as is customary. While the EU, the US and Western partners have snubbed Russian delegations in other international meetings since the invasion of Ukraine, the G20 was seen as an outreach opportunity to other countries that might be swayed by Moscow’s narrative. But Borrell’s spokeswoman stressed that “we will not allow Moscow to abuse G20 as its own propaganda platform” that would effectively put in doubts the grouping’s credibility, efficiency and relevance. As to the host country’s decision to invite Putin to a follow-up summit in Bali in November despite Western efforts to freeze him out, there was no question of the EU boycotting the G20, which was “too important also for the developing countries and for the emerging economies,” she added.
In a related but separate development, the Russian president has challenged (7 July) the West to try and defeat Russia “on the battlefield” and said Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine marked a shift to a “multi-polar world”. In a hawkish speech to parliamentary leaders, Putin also said that Russia had barely gotten started in terms of its war in Ukraine and dared the West to try to defeat it in warfare, while also insisting that Moscow was still open to the idea of peace talks. Responding to the Russian leader’s aggressive remarks, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the recent raising of the Ukrainian flag on Snake Island in the Black Sea was a sign his country ‘would not be broken’.

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Asia-Pacific · GLOBAL EUROPE

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