No consensus on Ukraine issue; should be removed: Russian envoy on draft G20 leaders’ communique

New Delhi:┬áThere is consensus among the G20 nations on all issues except the Ukraine conflict and the contentious matter should be removed from the draft of the leaders’ communique to pave the way for its release at the bloc’s summit next week, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov said on Friday.

The envoy said Russia has been “very openly” supporting India’s priorities under its G20 presidency and hoped that the summit will be a “huge success” for India and the whole world.

There have been sharp differences between the Russia-China combite and the Western countries over the text to describe the Ukraine crisis.

“Obviously, the situation is complicated. There is no consensus on Ukraine (issue),” Alipov said at an interactive session with journalists at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

India will host the G20 summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10 in its capacity as the current president of the grouping.

In the text of the draft communique, two paragraphs on the Ukraine conflict were taken from G20 ‘leaders’ Bali declaration that was unveiled in November last year.

Both Russia and China had agreed to the two paragraphs on the Ukraine conflict in the Bali declaration, but they backtracked from it this year creating difficulties for India to build consensus on the tricky issue.

There have been apprehensions that lack of consensus on how to describe the Ukraine conflict may result in the summit ending without having a leaders’ declaration.

“If there is no consensus on only one issue and there is consensus on all other issues, what shall we do in this situation,” Alipov asked.

“We should remove the nonconsensual issue from the agenda to agree on other very topical issues such as climate change, sustainable development, financial crisis, food crisis,” he said.

Alipov suggested that there are bodies like the UN Security Council which should deliberate on the Ukraine conflict and that Russia is open for discussions.

He said the G20 was established for resolving financial and economic problems that the world faces, and not to deliberate on geopolitical issues.

“If there is no consensus then political issues should not be discussed,” the envoy 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).