The United States and Western Allies Assess Russia’s Participation in the G20


Bombing of a warehouse in Severodonetsk, Ukraine

By Andrea Shalal and Marek Strzelecki

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sources involved in the discussions told Reuters on Tuesday that the United States and Western allies were studying whether Russia could remain in the Group of 20 major economies after the invasion of Ukraine.

The sources said that the possibility of a veto against any move to exclude Russia by other countries in the group – including China, India, Saudi Arabia and others – raised the possibility that some countries will miss the G20 meetings this year. .

The G-20, along with the group of seven most-selected nations — which includes only the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom — is an important international group for coordinating everything from climate change action to international debt.

Russia is facing an onslaught of international sanctions led by Western countries that seek to isolate the country from the global economy, including notably its removal from the global Swift bank transfer system and the restriction of central bank circulation.

“There are discussions about whether it is appropriate for Russia to be part of the G20,” a senior G7 source said. “If Russia remains a member, the group will become a less useful organization.”

A source from the European Union, separately, confirmed discussions on Russia’s status in the upcoming G-20 meetings, of which Indonesia currently holds the rotating presidency.

“It is very clear to Indonesia that Russia’s presence in the upcoming ministerial meetings will be very problematic for European countries,” the source said, adding that there is, however, no clear process for excluding a country.

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The G7 expanded into a new “Group of Eight” format, which included Russia, during a period of close relations in the early 2000s. But Russia was suspended indefinitely from the group after its 2014 annexation of Crimea. .

Earlier on Tuesday, Poland said it had proposed to US trade officials to replace Russia in the G-20, and that the proposal had received a “positive response”.

The G7 source said it was unlikely that Indonesia, which currently chairs the G20, or members such as India, Brazil, South Africa and China, would accept Russia’s exclusion from the group.

The source said that if the G7 countries instead refrain from participating in the G20 meetings this year, it could send a strong signal to India. The country has infuriated some Western governments by failing to condemn the Russian invasion and not supporting Western actions against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s standing in other multilateral agencies is also called into question.

In Geneva, World Trade Organization (WTO) officials said many delegations were refusing to hold meetings with their Russian counterparts in various forms.

(Additional reporting by Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw; Garrett Renshaw in Washington; Jan Strubczewski in Brussels; Emma Farge in Geneva)


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