G20 ‘Delhi Declaration’ On Ukraine
G20 ‘Delhi Declaration’ On Ukraine

G20 leaders have called on all states to “refrain from the threat, or use, of force to seek territorial acquisition” and ruled the threat of use of nuclear weapons “inadmissible” – a discreet critique of Russia’s war on Ukraine that signals a major climbdown from the declaration in Indonesia last year.

Most importantly, the declaration – unlike that adopted by G20 leaders in Indonesia – does not actually name Russia in connection with the war in Ukraine. It merely calls on all states to refrain from acting against the territorial integrity of any nation and “recognises the G20 is not the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues… (which) can have significant consequences for the global economy”.

States were, instead, urged to “uphold principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty” and the document called for a “comprehensive, just and durable peace in Ukraine”.

The declaration that followed last year’s summit in Indonesia was more explicit, citing a United Nations resolution and condemning in “strongest terms… aggression by Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

In today’s declaration, Ukraine – invaded in February 2022 – found mention just four times in a 37-page document India’s G20 sherpa, Amitabh Kant, said had been achieved with “100 per cent consensus”.

The New Delhi Declaration’s stance on Russia and the war reflects a major climbdown by Western nations, which had insisted on strong language when referring to Ukraine and Russia’s role in the war.

Disagreements over the wording of paragraphs on the geopolitical situation in Ukraine had stalled earlier efforts at building consensus, which India had insisted also accommodate the views of Russia and China.

India, however, had countered by suggesting the G20 – while condemning suffering caused by Russia’s invasion – is “a premier forum for economic cooperation” and not to resolve geopolitical issues.

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