Shortly before the start of the G20 summit in Indonesia, the chief negotiators of the European Union and the 19 leading economic powers agreed on a draft for a joint final declaration.

This was confirmed by EU Council President Charles Michel at a press conference on Tuesday morning. According to information from the German Press Agency, the EU and the western states, despite Moscow’s initial resistance, managed to get Russia’s war against Ukraine sharply condemned in the text.

Majority condemns war against Ukraine

The evening before, diplomats had said that Russia was ready to accept such a passage. According to a Western diplomat, the Russian attack should clearly be described as a war – and not as a special military operation, as Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin said.

A senior US official said on Tuesday it was a strong condemnation of most members of the G20 group. The focus was on forming the broadest possible coalition within the G20. That was successful.

The US official said: “I think most members of the G20 will make it clear that they condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine and see the war in Ukraine as the cause of immense economic and humanitarian suffering in the country look at the world.”

Can Russia still count on China?

Russia’s approval of the draft text was seen as a sign that Moscow can no longer even count on the support of its powerful partner China when it comes to Ukraine in the G20 group.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had already indicated that Russia would make concessions on Monday. He had said in a video from his ministry that the final declaration would be accepted.

“This year we also experienced the war in Ukraine, which further affected the global economy,” the G20 paper said.

In addition, according to Monday evening, Russia accepted that the final declaration quoted from a United Nations resolution on the war. In this, the war is sharply condemned and Russia is asked to withdraw its troops.

Putin’s chief negotiator on nuclear weapons use

Putin’s chief negotiator is also said to have agreed that the use of nuclear weapons should be described as inadmissible in the final declaration.

At the two-day G20 summit, in addition to the EU, the countries Germany, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the represented in the United States. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is there for Germany.

The “Group of 20” together accounts for almost two-thirds of the world’s population, three-quarters of world trade and four-fifths of global economic power. The annual summit has been held since 2008. The G20 now deals with many other global issues in addition to economic and financial issues.