Russia is reluctant to leave the G-20 so as not to become an international pariah | International

The great Western powers are trying to get Russia out of the G-20. The EU and the US want Moscow to withdraw temporarily and voluntarily from this forum that emerged as a result of the latest financial crisis and in which, in addition to the seven richest countries in the world, others such as China, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia (which holds the presidency this year), South Africa, Saudi Arabia or India, and in which Spain usually participates as one of the invited States. The offensive to isolate the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, seeks to turn Russia into an international pariah, outside the organizations that watch over the international order. But in the case of the G-20, Westerners have run into opposition from China, which defends the presence of its Russian ally, European sources confirm.

Ever since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have tried to punish Russia in every possible way short of open war with a nuclear power. The first line of attack have been unprecedented economic sanctions against one of the world’s great military powers: cutting off its banks’ access to the international payment system, freezing the central bank’s assets outside its country, banning and freezing the properties of the oligarchs who support the Russian regime and its own leaders, such as Putin. The other is to support Ukraine’s war effort by sending weapons and money. The third is deployed in the diplomatic field and international forums.

The first step was a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the invasion that achieved very broad support. The sentence was approved with the vote in favor of 141 of the 193 members of the Assembly and with only five votes against (Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria). But no less than 35 countries abstained, including three members of the G-20: China, India and South Africa.

From the moment of the invasion, Beijing has maintained an ambiguous attitude that increasingly worries Westerners. The abstention in the UN (both in the Security Council and in the Assembly) was interpreted as a gesture of distancing towards Moscow. But the Chinese government has subsequently refused to classify the Russian Army’s aggression against Ukraine as a war or invasion, has blamed Westerners in part for the conflict and has fueled the hoaxes propagated by Putin about alleged chemical weapons in the hands of the government. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Faced with this position of the Asian giant, one of the European countries in favor of expelling Moscow almost resigned himself and explained this week that Beijing’s position makes this claim very difficult. Furthermore, Russia is not about to leave the forum either. In fact, the Reuters agency pointed out these days that Putin maintains his intention to go to Indonesia at the end of this year, where the meeting will be held.

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Until now, they explain from one of the member countries by right of the G-20, the operation and leadership of this group usually corresponds to the G-7 countries (United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan). ). They would become the engine of a larger collective —and representative of the whole world— in which there are 13 other countries, Russia among them, and, in addition, other guests. On this occasion, the usual gear would have been set in motion, that is, the proposal by the richest countries in the world, but it would have collided with the position of China.

Nor does it seem that it will be easy to punish Moscow in the IMF and the World Bank, as the Western countries announced two weeks ago, at the end of the European summit in Versailles. “We will make sure that Russia cannot obtain credits or other benefits from these organizations,” warned the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. But Vladimir Putin’s regime is up to date with payments to these organizations and that would make it very difficult to take the announced step.

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