G20 Split Over Ukraine, Slow Progress On Debt

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies met to discuss a raft of issues, including debt restructuring deals for low-income nations and the effect of Russia's grain deal pullout on developing economies.

18th July 2023 10:40 PM

Finance chiefs of an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU), G20, ended talks in India Tuesday with disagreement over Russia's war in Ukraine, limited progress on debt restructuring, and warnings that divisions between rich and poor nations risked deepening poverty.

The news of the break was revealed by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while reading a G20 outcome document, after a two-day summit of finance ministers and central bank governors in India.

She said, “The Group of 20 major economies failed to agree on a joint statement because we still don't have a common language on the Russia-Ukraine war, but progress had been made on key issues”.

Sitharaman further noted that the conflict in Ukraine created a devastating global economic impact, which she alleged sent food prices soaring, with diplomatic loyalties torn between Russia and the West.

She added, "Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy.

The war was constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks", she said.

Access24 reports that many countries are still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and commodity price surges triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine,  climate change has reportedly affected some of the poorest countries also.

United States Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen had on Sunday insisted redoubling support for war-stricken Ukraine was the "single best" way to aid the global economy, saying she would "push back" on criticism there was a trade-off between aid to Kyiv and developing nations.

As talks took place, Russia refused to extend a deal on Monday allowing critical Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, sparking outrage from the United Nations, which has warned that millions of the world's poorest would "pay the price".