Skip to content

Widening Split Over Russia Wording Imperils G-20 Communique

  • Officials concerned China may oppose strong language on Russia
  • Russia refuses to call its invasion of Ukraine a war
Lavrov arrives in Bali on Nov. 13.
Lavrov arrives in Bali on Nov. 13.Photographer: Sonny Tumbelaka/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Updated on

Moscow’s refusal to describe Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a war is the biggest sticking point in getting a communique from this week’s Group of 20 leaders summit, potentially pitting Russia, China and some emerging market countries on one side and most other member states on the other.

The G-20, which is meeting in Bali, Indonesia, could for the first time wrap up without a joint statement agreed by all members, who make up the world’s largest economies. That would cast further doubt on its continued utility as a group, as fractures grow between wealthier members and those who have borne the brunt of economic disruption first from the pandemic, and now food and energy insecurity exacerbated by Russia’s war.