US, UK and Canada leave G20 meeting on war in Ukraine | G20
The UK, US and Canada have staged a coordinated strike from a G20 meeting to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, amid growing risks of division between major striking nations the world economy.
Representatives of the three countries walked out of the session as Russian delegates spoke at the meeting in Washington. Sources said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and a senior Treasury official were among those who walked out of the talks.
The walkout at the session, which was taking place on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings, came amid growing fears that a breakdown in international relations would seriously jeopardize the global economy’s post-pandemic recovery and add to soaring inflation, pushing millions more into poverty around the world.
In comments made shortly before the protest, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned that 75 years of development progress was threatened by a breakdown in international cooperation.
Asked about reports of a potential walkout at the G20 meeting, Georgieva said the world had reached a “decisive moment” for global partnerships to tackle a range of issues, including the pandemic, war in Ukraine, the climate emergency and growing poverty.
“There are clearly some very, very troubling facts that we have to face. I can honestly say that I never thought I would experience another war in Europe on the scale of this,” she said.
“We also recognize how interdependent we are. Just list the questions – no country can solve [them] all alone. It is so obvious that cooperation must and will continue.
The walkout came as Western leaders contested Russia’s membership of the G20 group of major economies, which includes the US, UK, France and Germany, as well as powerful developing countries such as China, Brazil and India.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, tweeted that the British representatives had left the meeting. “We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and will push for stronger international coordination to punish Russia,” he said.
Sources said the UK, US and other Western countries were pushing for a consensus stance on Russia’s continued G20 membership and questioned the presence of Kremlin officials.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told attendees she disapproved of the presence of a senior Russian official, according to Reuters. The US Treasury said earlier on Wednesday that Yellen had met with Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s finance minister – who currently holds the rotating G20 presidency – to stress that there would be “no status quo for the Russia in the global economy”. ”.
Mohamed El-Erian, a former deputy director of the IMF who is now president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, said the outbreak showed the G20 was not functioning as an international body.
“The future of multilateralism is threatened at a time when we need it most,” El-Erian said, calling on governments to continue working together through alternative means.
“The G20 is too divided and lacks continuity. This has always made me wonder why there is no secretariat. You go from presidency to presidency – it changes every time. So very little is done,” he said.
“The only exception was the London summit in April 2009 under Gordon Brown, that was the only exception. The G7 is too narrow in terms of composition. In terms of existing tools, it is a reformed and revamped IMF and World Bank.
The IMF said on Tuesday that risks to the global economy were growing as Russia’s war in Ukraine drove up inflation.
The Washington-based fund said the war had increased the risk of the global economy becoming more permanently fragmented into geopolitical blocs. Such a “tectonic shift” would entail high adjustment costs for the global economy, he said.