At G20, divisions hinder bid to blame Russia for inflation crisis
At the G20 summit in Indonesia, the United States and its allies are pushing the case that Russia and its war in Ukraine are to blame for the global cost-of-living crisis.
But the effort to hold Moscow responsible for the food security and inflation crises gripping the global economy faces challenges in Bali amid palpable divisions over the war.
Even with inflation running at 40-year highs and the threat of a global recession looming, the club of leading economies is far from united on a response, with many non-Western members reluctant to openly side against Moscow.
On top of declining to join the Western-led sanctions campaign against Russia, China, India and South Africa have abstained in United Nations votes condemning Russia’s invasion and subsequent votes to annex parts of Ukraine.
China, which declared a “friendship without limits” with Russia shortly before the outbreak of the war, has gone as far as to decry the sanctions as “counterproductive” and “illegal and unilateral”.
Among the G20’s other members, Indonesia – the summit host – Argentina, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have also refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia.
Saudi Arabia has additionally been accused by Washington of helping to fund Russia’s war effort by pushing up oil prices through its membership of OPEC+.
“I actually don’t think we will have any condemnation of Russia’s role in the food security crisis,” Alicia García-Herrero, the chief Asia Pacific economist at Natixis in Hong Kong, told Al Jazeera.
“Even if Putin isn’t there, China will basically shadow Russia’s position and will surely control, basically, the communique to avoid condemnation.”
“It’s not only China,” García-Herrero said. “We already know that a number of countries have opposed any condemnation.”
Ahead of the start of the headline leaders’ summit, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters on Monday that ending the war was “the single best thing we can do for the global economy.”