G20 financial leaders meet in Bali under the cloud of the Ukrainian war

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, July 15 (Reuters) – Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Friday it was vital for G20 finance leaders to reach a consensus during talks in Bali, warning otherwise it could be “disastrous”. for low-income countries facing rising food and energy prices.

Financial leaders from the Group of 20 major economies are meeting on the resort island as hosts Indonesia try to find common ground in a group ravaged by war in Ukraine and mounting economic pressures from rising inflation.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation,” has overshadowed previous G20 meetings, including last week’s gathering of foreign ministers. read more

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Sri Mulyani said the world had high hopes that the group would be able to find a solution to the triple threat of war, rising commodity prices and their spillover effect on the ability of low-income countries to repay debt.

“We are acutely aware that the cost of our failure to work together is greater than we can afford. The humanitarian consequences for the world, and especially for many low-income countries, would be catastrophic,” she said.

G20 members include Western countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia and accuse it of war crimes in Ukraine – which it denies – as well as nations such as China, India and South Africa, which have been more muted in their responses.

Sri Mulyani urged G20 members to talk less about politics and to “build bridges among themselves” to make more technical decisions and actions.

“We must strengthen the spirit of multilateralism, we must also build a safety net for our future cooperation,” she said.

German and French officials have expressed skepticism that common ground can be reached because of tensions over Ukraine.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemned Russia’s “brutal and unjust war” in Ukraine and said Russian financial officials participating in the meeting shared responsibility for the war’s “terrible consequences”. read more

The Ukrainian finance minister is expected to speak at one of the sessions virtually, Indonesia announced. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov will address the meeting virtually, and his deputy will travel to Bali.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a meeting with his counterparts in Bali last week after what he called “furious criticism” of his country over the war. read more

That meeting ended without announcements or any announcements of an agreement.

Yellen said one of her key goals was to push G20 creditors, including China, to finalize debt repayments for countries in long trouble.

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Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy and Stefanno Sulaiman, Andrea Shalal in Nusa Dua; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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