The G20 countries, whose heads of government will meet in Bali later this week, are unlikely to reach a joint final statement. Russia and the United States failed to reach a consensus after a multilateral summit in Cambodia, which means that a statement after the G20 summit is not expected either.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov censured the US and its allies for failing to deliver a communiqué at the East Asian summit of 18 countries. Especially since it called for “absolutely intolerable language” regarding the situation in Ukraine. Russia refuses to describe the invasion of Ukraine as war and instead calls it a “special military operation”.
Lavrov also accused the US of dividing the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and criticized NATO for increasing activities in the region. His comments about NATO reflect growing concerns from China, even though the US alliance in Asia does not include NATO’s collective defence agreements. “There is a clear trend of militarization in the region through coordination of the efforts of local US associates such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan with NATO expansion,” Lavrov said.
US President Joe Biden will have his first face-to-face meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday. China is currently the leading diplomatic partner of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month, however, Xi told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that he is against using nuclear weapons in Europe. That was one of the Chinese leader’s most direct comments about the need not to escalate Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has divided the international community. The US and its allies, including the European Union, have imposed sanctions on Moscow and provided the neighbouring country with military aid and economic assistance. Other countries have not done this or condemned Moscow for its actions. The conflict has thwarted wider international cooperation. As a result, several multilateral meetings have ended without agreement this year.