G20 host urges West to soften anti-Russia rhetoric – Politico – RT World News

Indonesian leaders, hoping to rally members with a statement, have reportedly asked politicians to appease criticism from Moscow

Indonesia, host of the G20 summit, is reportedly seeking to prevent the gathering of world leaders from becoming a party against Russia, urging Western politicians to temper their criticism of Moscow so that all members can be integrated with a communicated at the end of the event.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other government officials have asked Western leaders to make concessions on the extent of their anti-Russian rhetoric on the Ukraine crisis, Politico reported Sunday, citing three unidentified diplomats familiar with the talks. The two-day summit kicks off in Bali on Tuesday, and Widodo hopes to find enough common ground for all G20 members, including Russia and China, to agree on a group statement.

Widodo also aims to prevent the group from following in the footsteps of the G8, which expelled Moscow and became the G7 after Crimea voted to become part of Russia in 2014. A G7 statement earlier this month condemned Russia for its “war of aggression” against Ukraine and called for the withdrawal of all Russian forces from the former Soviet republic. The group also accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine and lambasted the Kremlin for “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric”.

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Such a statement would probably not find consensus in Bali, where Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Several other G20 members, including China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, would be reluctant to sign a statement scolding Russia. Politico said one possibility would be to issue a more general joint statement calling for “enforcing international law”.

“Obviously we can’t be as tough as we do at the G7 when you need the Russians, Chinese and Saudis to agree,” a Western diplomat told the outlet. “The question is how much do we need to cut.” The United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and major European countries are among the G20 members that Indonesian officials are targeting with their calls for softer rhetoric.

Widodo also hopes to avoid controversy over a group photo, such as those typically taken at G20 meetings to show solidarity, given that some members might be reluctant to line up in the same image with Lavrov. Last month, before Moscow announced that President Vladimir Putin would not attend the summit, Politico reported that White House officials were taking steps to ensure Biden would not cross paths with the Russian leader.

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