Russia is increasingly isolated from its campaign against Ukraine, now that important allies such as China and India have distanced themselves more clearly from the Kremlin's warmongering.
Even before the heads of state and government of the 20 most powerful industrialized and emerging countries met on Tuesday morning on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali for their first working meeting, the chief negotiators of the G20 states had agreed on a final declaration in which the Russian military operations "strongly condemned" will.
The 16-page draft text, quoted by several media outlets, reads: "Most members have strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing weaknesses in the global economy."
The final declaration has yet to be officially adopted by the heads of state and government on Wednesday, the second day of the summit. Should an agreement be reached, the summit meeting would take a remarkable course that was not necessarily to be expected.
In the run-up, it was feared that the G20 members would not be able to agree on a common position on Russia's attack on Ukraine and that a coordinated communiqué would fail for the first time. Consequently, the international community would have been deeply divided on the issue.
The draft text that has now become known sends a clear message to Moscow, which has probably given up its resistance to the declaration, also under the impression of dwindling support from those states that had previously only considered the Kremlin's warmongering with soft notes of protest.
It is true that the draft text does not spell out exactly who "most" of the G20 members who are rallying behind the clear criticism are. However, Russia's approval of the draft is seen as a possible sign that it can no longer rely on the unrestricted support of traditional partners such as China in the war against Ukraine.
"For the states that have not sharply criticized Russia so far - China, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, South Africa - it was probably not important enough to protect Russia from a conviction," says Thomas Jäger, a political scientist at the University of Cologne , to the star. "And alone, Russia no longer has the international weight to take action."
The draft addresses Russia's position in one sentence in particular: "There were different views and different assessments of the situation." Russia also agrees that the Russian attack will be clearly labeled as a "war" -- and not as a "military special operation," as President Vladimir Putin has ordered the war to be called in Russia.
According to the draft, the major economic powers concede that the G20 is not the "forum for solving security issues", "but we recognize that security issues can have a significant impact on the global economy." Furthermore, the states would have reaffirmed their "national positions".
However, in this context, reference is expressly made to a resolution of the United Nations, in which Russia is called upon to immediately cease hostilities. In March, the UN had condemned the Russian invasion with a clear majority of 141 votes in favor and five against. 35 countries abstained, including China.
The draft also addresses the Russian threatening gestures of a possible use of nuclear weapons: "The use or the threat of the use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible," quoted the Financial Times from the paper. In the run-up to the G20 summit, both German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden wrestled Chinese President Xi Jinping into distancing themselves from Russian nuclear threats.
A possible explanation for Beijing's alleged course correction is that the rising Asian power is very interested in positive global economic development because of its export dependency and should also have no interest in poor relations with the USA and the EU hindering its own development.
According to the draft, most members see the "peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to manage crises, and diplomacy and dialogue" as "vital". "Today's era must not be marked by war," it says.
According to information from the "Financial Times", the delegation from India is said to have played a special role in reaching a consensus among the member states on the wording used to condemn the Russian invasion. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a meeting with President Putin in September that "today is not an era of war". The statement was widely read as India's distancing from Russia's war.
The G20 "will make it clear that Russia's war is devastating people everywhere," the newspaper quoted a senior US official as adding that there was a growing trend of "countries from different parts of the world" speaking out against the conflict .
"Russia is isolated internationally and can no longer exert diplomatic pressure," says political scientist Jäger. The internal weakness of the state, which is shown by repression, continues externally.
"Putin wanted to strengthen Russia with a victory over Ukraine and political pressure on the EU and lead it to become a world power with equal rights alongside the USA and China. He has achieved the opposite," says the expert. The Russian President has weakened his country, internationally isolated both economically and politically. In addition, he had made himself dependent on internal forces that he wanted to control. "That will become less and less successful over time."
EU Council President Charles Michel confirmed the agreement at a press conference on Tuesday and called it a success for himself. The summit was one of the most difficult in the history of the G20. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is taking part for Germany, Russia's President Putin is not in Bali and is being represented by his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
According to Scholz, Putin should have come to the G20 summit. "Then he would have had to face all the questions and all the criticism that has been formulated by many countries around the world," said the Chancellor prior to the meeting. "That's probably why he's not here."
Sources: Reuters, Associated Press, "The Guardian", "The Financial Times", Deutsche Presse-Agentur