Foreign ministers from the group of 20 are gathering in Indonesia for talks bound to be dominated by the conflict in Ukraine despite an agenda focused on global cooperation, food and energy security.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has flown into Indonesia's resort island of Bali for a meeting of G20 foreign ministers, which is set to be overshadowed by tensions triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
There was tight security on Thursday in Bali's Nusa Dua area, where the summit is being held, as foreign diplomats descended on the tropical island for the meeting.
The G20 gathering runs until Friday in host country Indonesia, which this year has grappled with the balancing act of running a global summit buffeted by geopolitical pressures and a global food crisis blamed on the conflict.
Speaking ahead of her arrival in Bali, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Russia must not be allowed to use the G20 meeting as a platform given its offensive in Ukraine.
"It is in the interest of us all to ensure that international law is respected and adhered to. That is the common denominator," Baerbock said in a statement.
Several ministerial & deputy levels meetings of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency will be held in July, including the Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the 3rd Finance & Central Bank Deputies Meeting, and the 3rd Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governor Meeting.#G20Indonesia pic.twitter.com/FjwaFLkV3l— G20 Indonesia (@g20org) July 5, 2022
Summit will not be 'business as usual'
Foreign ministers headed to Bali on Thursday come from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the US, and the European Union.
The summit will see the first face-to-face meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov and some of Russia's biggest critics since the Ukraine conflict began, which Moscow has called a "special military operation".
Lavrov had arrived in Bali and planned to meet some G20 counterparts on the sidelines of the summit, Russian news agency TASS reported, but ministers including Baerbock and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have ruled out meeting Lavrov.
The Group of 20 includes Western countries that have accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine and rolled out sanctions, but also countries like China, Indonesia, India and South Africa that have been more muted in their response.
Some officials from Europe and the United States have stressed the Bali summit would not be "business as usual", with a spokesperson for the German foreign minister saying G7 countries would coordinate their response to Lavrov in Bali.
Top officials from Britain, Canada and the United States walked out on Russian representatives during a G20 finance meeting in Washington in April.
Despite early talk of boycotting subsequent G20 meetings, analysts say Western nations appear to have decided it would be counterproductive to cede the floor to Russia.
Discussion of energy and food security is on the agenda in the two-day meeting, with Russia accused of stoking a global food crisis and worsening inflation by blockading shipments of Ukrainian grain.
Russia has said it is ready to facilitate unhindered exports of grain.
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