Economic powers: G20 summit in Bali: a divided world under palm trees

The word war is not on the agenda of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Economic powers: G20 summit in Bali: a divided world under palm trees

The word war is not on the agenda of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the most important topic for many of the participants, is hidden behind the heading "Food and Energy Security". This will be discussed in the first working session on Tuesday.

With US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also be sitting at the table, representing his President Vladimir Putin.

What comes around in the end: unclear. "It will still be a tough ride," said Scholz before the start of the summit.

Who belongs to the "Group of 20"?

The European Union and 19 leading economic powers from all continents: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the USA . Together they represent almost two-thirds of the world's population, four-fifths of global economic power and three-quarters of world trade.

Why are there the peaks?

The G20 was founded in 1999 for international coordination on financial and economic issues. Initially, only finance ministers and central bank governors met. In 2008, the summit meetings of the heads of state and government were called into being in order to get a grip on the financial crisis at the time. The G20 is now also dealing with many other global issues, from fighting terrorism and climate protection to fighting pandemics. And now with a war.

How do the G20 understand each other?

In the early years, it was possible to hide how different the community actually is: kings and autocrats have always sat there together with democratically elected heads of state and government. Today it is clearer than ever what different views they have of democracy, international law and human rights. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has divided the group widely.

Why in a holiday paradise of all places?

The host always decides on this. Logistical questions play a role when choosing the venue: Are there enough hotel rooms? Is there a major airport nearby? Can the event site be well shielded? For the Indonesian government, which has probably never had so many prominent politicians as guests, it should also be about presenting itself from the best side. It has long used the luxurious holiday resort of Nusa Dua in the south of the "Island of the Gods" as a conference venue.

Are all heads of state and government present this time?

no Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled just under a week before the start of the summit - after a series of defeats in the war of aggression against Ukraine, which culminated in the withdrawal from the strategically important city of Cherson last week. Putin sent his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who arrived in Bali on Sunday.

Also not present: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is also being represented by his foreign minister, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has already been voted out.

Is Ukraine invited?

Yes. The host has the option to invite host countries. The choice of Indonesian President Joko Widodo fell on Ukraine, among others. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj will only take part on Tuesday via video link.

Why is the West sitting down with representatives of Russia at all?

He wants to demonstrate that he doesn't shy away from a verbal confrontation with Russia. The motto is that the G20 member Russia will not be allowed to destroy the important forum for global questions and problems. Scholz regrets that Putin is not there. He would then have had to face all the questions from his numerous critics, he says. "That's probably why he's not here."

What allies does Russia have in the G20?

Especially China. But India and South Africa also did not vote in the UN General Assembly to condemn Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, but abstained.

Will there be a joint final declaration?

On Monday evening everything looked like it. According to a Western diplomat, the heads of state and government negotiators have agreed on a text. Russia is apparently ready to accept the inclusion of a passage condemning the war against Ukraine. According to the diplomat, the Russian attack is clearly described as a war and not as a special military operation, as Putin normally does.

Russia's approval of the draft text is seen as a possible sign that Moscow can no longer even count on the support of its powerful partner China when it comes to Ukraine in the G20 group. Foreign Minister Lavrov had previously indicated that Russia would make concessions. Putin's representative at the summit said in a video from his ministry that the final declaration would be accepted.

What is the chancellor hoping for?

He hopes that everyone will at least agree not to use nuclear weapons. With this, Scholz wants to counter the Russian threats with a nuclear strike in the Ukraine war. He brought China on board during his trip to Beijing a week ago. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden condemned the Russian nuclear threats at their meeting shortly before the summit, according to US sources.

Who or what else could play a role at the summit?

Someone thousands of miles away. Ex-President Donald Trump has announced a "very big announcement" for Tuesday evening (US local time). In Indonesia it is already Wednesday - and the second G20 day has begun. The 76-year-old Republican is likely to publicize a renewed candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on this day. This will not only interest Biden and his delegation in Bali.

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