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European Council President doubts G20 summit to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine

European Council President doubts G20 summit to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine President of the European Council Charles Michel (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

It is difficult to predict if leaders of the G20 grouping gathering for a summit in New Delhi this weekend can reach consensus on a declaration condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday, according to Reuters.

"We are still negotiating... It's difficult to predict if it will be possible to have an agreement on the declaration," Michel said during a press conference in the Indian capital.

He added, "I don't intend to say something that will make the efforts more difficult. We support the efforts made by the Indian presidency."

India, which currently chairs the grouping, aims to accommodate the views of Russia and China in the summit's final communique, despite the Western countries' attempts to include a strong condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping is attending the summit. Instead, Moscow is sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while Premier Li Qiang will represent Beijing.

Disruption of food security by the Kremlin

Michel said the European Union wanted the G20 to focus on tackling global challenges to food and energy security, saying Russia was blocking Ukraine's exports of grain through the Black Sea, one of the key issues to feature in the weekend's negotiations.

"The EU will continue to strongly back Ukraine and pile pressure on Russia," he said, adding that it was crystal clear that the bloc condemned the Russian aggression.

According to him, "by deliberately attacking Ukrainian ports, the Kremlin is depriving people of the food they desperately need."

In July, Russia withdrew from a Black Sea grain agreement brokered by the United Nations.

Russia withdrew from the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal in July, citing a lack of progress on its own food and fertiliser exports.

Michel did not foresee the summit solving all "major" global problems, he said, but added that the EU wanted the bloc to hasten efforts on sustainable development, climate change and poverty reduction.

G20 declaration project

The summit in New Delhi is scheduled for September 9-10. The European Union believes that the draft declaration on Ukraine prepared by India should be refined.