G20 finance ministers meeting to end without consensus on war in Ukraine (delegates)

G20 finance ministers meeting to end without consensus on war in Ukraine (delegates)

By Aftab Ahmed and David Lawder

BENGALURU, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Finance officials from the world’s biggest economies were unable to settle their differences on Saturday over the war in Ukraine and advanced on measures to restructure the debt of troubled nations, said sources familiar with the talks.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 (G20), hosted by India, was in danger of ending at the end of the day without a joint declaration because there was no consensus on how to describe the conflict in Ukraine, three delegates told Reuters.

The United States and its industrial power allies in the Group of Seven (G7) have insisted on demanding that the declaration directly condemn Russia for the invasion of its neighbor a year ago, but the Russian and Chinese delegations do not agree. are opposite. .

Russia and China have been upset over the use of the G20 platform to discuss political issues, two of the delegates said.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen previously told Reuters it was “absolutely necessary” for there to be a statement in the statement condemning Russia.

“And I think the G7 is certainly united on that, so that’s something I would expect and I think it’s necessary and appropriate,” he said.

Russia, a member of the G20 but not the G7, calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” and avoids calling it an invasion or a war.

India is pressuring the meeting to avoid using the word “war” in any statement, G20 officials previously told Reuters.

India, which chairs the G20 this year, has maintained a largely neutral stance on the war, refusing to blame Russia for the invasion, seeking a diplomatic solution and dramatically increasing its purchases of Russian oil.

India and China were among the nations that abstained on Thursday when the UN voted overwhelmingly to demand that Moscow withdraw its troops from Ukraine and stop fighting.

In parallel, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a meeting on Saturday with the World Bank, China, India, Saudi Arabia and the G7 on restructuring the debt of troubled economies, but there was disagreements among members, IMF chief Kristalina said. Georgiava.

“We have just completed a session in which it was made clear that there is a commitment to bridging differences for the benefit of countries,” Georgieva, who co-chaired the roundtable with India’s finance minister, told reporters. Nirmala Sitharaman.

A delegate told Reuters that initial progress had been made, particularly on the language surrounding the issue, but the restructuring had not been discussed in detail.

The expert group is expected to continue discussing the issue at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in April. (Reporting by Shivangi Acharya, Sarita Singh, Aftab Ahmed, Christian Kraemer and David Lawder; Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Spanish editing by Manuel Farías)

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