Ukraine tensions dominate G20
BALI, Indonesia — The G20 summit opened on Tuesday, with the Russian military's war on Ukraine dominating discussions and dividing leaders.
The big picture: The U.S. and European countries have made the war their top focus at the summit. But countries outside of the rich Group of 7 weren't on the same page, leading to profound and perhaps insurmountable differences over the goals for the summit.
What they're saying: "We must end this war," were European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's opening words in her address to the G20 on Tuesday.
- "This G20 is one of the most difficult ones that there have ever been," said European Council president Charles Michel on Tuesday. "Russia's war impacts us all no matter where we live, from Europe to Africa or the Middle East."
- Numerous others, from President Joe Biden to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, also condemned Russian aggression in their remarks.
But some non-G7 governments rejected such public condemnation. President of G20 host nation Indonesia, Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, articulated this position clearly in his opening remarks.
- "We have no other option, collaboration is needed to save the world," Jokowi said. "G20 must be the catalyst for inclusive economic recovery. We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall into another cold war."
Yes, but: The countries pushing back against condemnation of Russia are themselves no unified bloc.
- India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have both avoided criticizing Russia’s war in Ukraine. But Modi and Xi are not expected to meet at the G20, as their two countries are locked in ongoing territorial disputes.
What to watch: Some outlets have reported that this year's traditional G20 family photo has been canceled.
- No photo would be a strong indication that world leaders were unable to overcome their divisions.
Go deeper: Emboldened Zelensky says Russia's war "can be stopped"