EU firm and united in backing Ukraine: European Council President Charles Michel

New Delhi: A day ahead of the G20 summit, the European Union (EU) on Friday said it supports India’s efforts to build a consensus on the text to describe the Ukraine conflict in the leaders’ declaration for the conclave.

At the same time, European Council President Charles Michel said the EU would continue to strongly back Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s brutal aggression.

There was no consensus yet on the text to refer to the Ukraine crisis in the joint leaders’ declaration and top negotiators are still holding hectic parleys to thrash out the differences, sources said.

The G20 operates under the principle of consensus and a lack of common view may result in the summit ending without the declaration.

“I don’t know if this is possible or not to have an agreement on a final communique, we will see. But we will defend our principles and will also support the efforts made by India,” Michel said when asked about the possibility of the Ukraine crisis holding up the leaders’ declaration at the summit.

“We hope that it will be possible to have a communique and there is no secret about the position that the EU is defending around the table, regarding the war launched by Russia against Ukraine,” he said.

The European Council President said the EU is firm and united in backing Ukraine.

He said Russia is isolating itself from the international community even as he referred to the consequences of the Russian invasion on developing countries in terms of food and energy security.

In this context, he referred to Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

“I sincerely hope this G20 meeting is one more occasion to clarify Russian behaviour. Because by launching this war against Ukraine and by transforming the Black Sea into a battlefield, in fact, Russia is shooting a food missile against the developing countries,” Michel said.

The G20 member countries represent around 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).