China pushes back on suggestions Russia should be barred from G20
Russia on Wednesday received backing from China to continue its membership in the Group of 20.
A Chinese official said that Moscow should still be allowed to attend the next G20 summit amid growing concerns from the U.S. and its western allies about its ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Reuters reported.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a news conference that Russia is still an “important member” of the G20, adding that the group still needs to find answers to critical issues such as economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No member has the right to remove another country as a member. The G20 should implement real multilateralism, strengthen unity and cooperation,” Wang told the media.
Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva said that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to attend the upcoming summit in Indonesia in November, according to Reuters.
“It will depend on many, many things, including the COVID situation, which is getting better. So far, his intention is… he wants to,” Vorobieva, who currently is the summit’s chairperson, said at a news conference.
When asked about rumors of Russia being kicked out of the group, Vorobieva replied that the G20 is a forum to discuss economic issues and not a crisis like Ukraine.
“Of course, expulsion of Russia from this kind of forum will not help these economic problems to be resolved. On the contrary, without Russia it would be difficult to do so,” Vorobieva said.
Sources told the news agency the U.S. and its Western allies are assessing whether to keep Russia in the G20 group following its invasion of Ukraine, adding that a potential move to remove Russia would be vetoed by other member nations in that group, Reuters reported.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last month, has led to a series of international sanctions being leveled against Russia. U.S. companies in a variety of sectors have also moved to end business with Russia as well.
In a statement, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said group members will have to decide to remove Russia, but added it is not a major priority at the moment, Reuters noted.
“When it comes to the question of how to proceed with the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the G20, it is imperative to discuss this question with the countries that are involved and not to decide individually,” Scholz said.