At the G-20 meeting of leading and aspiring economic powers in Bali, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is relying on extensive isolation of Moscow because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Like her European colleagues, she traveled to the Indonesian island “to make it clear that we are not leaving the international stage to Russia,” said the Green politician on Thursday after arriving at the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is the first minister from Moscow to attend a G-20 meeting since the beginning of the war. The war is expected to dictate much of the deliberations. In addition to a discussion about strengthening multilateral international conflict resolution, global food and energy security will also be discussed.
Lavrov had arrived in Bali before Baerbock and had already met for talks with his Chinese colleague Wang Yi and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Nothing was initially known about the content. The Russian’s presence at the G-20 meeting is seen as a test for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s possible participation in the G-20 summit on November 15 and 16, which is also taking place in Bali. Several states had questioned their participation should Putin appear in person.
Baerbock said Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be allowed to “throw the world into chaos.” The consequences of the war should not destroy other regions of the world, she emphasized against the background of an impending global hunger crisis.
Baerbock announced that she and the other G-7 representatives would not hold any of the usual bilateral meetings with Lavrov on the fringes of the consultations. “Anyone who bombs our international peace order cannot assume that we are talking about bilateral trade relations.” Germany currently holds the G-7 presidency. In addition to Germany and the USA, France, Great Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan belong to the G-7 group.
When asked if she would shake Lavrov’s hand, the minister simply said: “We’re at an international conference where I can’t smile and stand by someone who is bombing Ukraine at the same time.” That’s why it will be otherwise usual official family photo does not give. In her speech in the presence of Lavrov, she will “find very clear words that we do not accept this breach of international law”. In addition, she will “urgently appeal again: Stop this bombing,” said the minister.
Russia is part of the G20 circle, said Baerbock. “But it is important that Russia does not leave the stage here.” She is attending the meeting to support the Indonesian G20 presidency, which offers an exchange opportunity for the international community in these times. “But sharing means you don’t bombard each other,” Baerbock said.
That’s why the meeting in Bali can’t be like at other times. “If a state attacks the international order and thus the states that are also sitting here at the table, then we can’t just go over to a nice dinner,” emphasized the minister.
Indonesia, the world’s largest island nation, is chairing the G20 this year. President Joko Widodo traveled to Kyiv and Moscow at the end of June and met both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin. He had offered a mediating role in the conflict.
It is eagerly awaited whether some ministers will leave the deliberations in protest at Lavrov’s presence and a scandal will break out. The spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Teuku Faizasyah, did not want to comment on this, but emphasized: “We diplomats should be prepared for different scenarios.” In all likelihood there will be no joint final declaration. The spokesman said a statement from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was planned at the end of Friday’s meeting.