G20 big moneymakers open war-dominated meeting in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

G20 moneymakers open war-dominated meeting in Ukraine | War in Ukraine

Energy and food crises are top priorities at this meeting of G20 finance ministers.

The big moneymakers of the G20 kicked off a meeting in Indonesia on Friday that is expected to be dominated by the repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the global economy, as inflation rises. is accelerating and where growth prospects are darkening.

The world is watching, said Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of host country Indonesia, in openness.

The actions we take will have a very significant effect on all nations of the world.

The two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors is being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, a week after the meeting of foreign ministers who sent a salvo of accusations about the terrorism. invasion of Ukraine to the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov.

Discussions were initially to focus on how best to encourage the return of growth after the pandemic of coronavirus, but it is the impact of the war in Ukraine, with the food and energy crises, which is now at the top of the agenda.

We are very aware that the price of our failure to agree is higher than we can afford, the Indonesian minister warned.

“The humanitarian consequences for many low-income countries would be catastrophic.

—Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia

On the eve of the meeting, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the biggest challenge to the global economy came from the war in Ukraine, stressing that representatives of Putin's regime should have no place there. forum.

We are seeing fallout from this war in all corners of the world, especially in energy prices and rising food insecurity , she noted.

The Minister of Finance of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, did not hesitate to directly address the members of the Russian delegation taking part in this meeting. The Deputy Prime Minister held them personally responsible for “war crimes”.

“It's not just generals who commit war crimes, it's economic technocrats who allow war to happen and continue .

—Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance of Canada

The Canadian minister of Ukrainian descent added that the Kremlin-led war is the biggest threat to the global economy right now.

She echoed the position expressed by the US Treasury Secretary. Speaking earlier Friday, Janet Yellen condemned the role of her Russian counterparts in waging this brutal and unjust war.

According to her, Kremlin finance officials were complicit in the horrific consequences of this conflict because of their support for Vladimir Putin.

Janet Yellen participated in a boycott of the G20 meeting in April when Russian officials spoke in Washington. The meeting ended without a final statement.

Despite these strong statements, the discussions are expected to reflect a fault line between Westerners who want to isolate Moscow economically and major developing countries opposed to sanctions against Russia, with China occupying a key position.

Without a consensus between countries on the causes of the current economic problems, and the responsibility of Russia, the publication of a statement is again uncertain.

It is a G20 which engages in a very particular context, indicated a source of the French ministry for Finances before the meeting. This context creates risks for poor and emerging countries, linked to the normalization of monetary policies and the risk of credit contraction.

Indonesia, the host country of the G20 this year, wanted to remain neutral and did not give in to Western pressure to keep Russia out of the meetings.

The Russian Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, therefore participates in these meetings, virtually.

If the finance ministers of Italy, Canada, India or South Africa, in particular, have traveled, many countries sent lower-level representatives.

France is represented by the Director General of the Treasury and by the Governor of the Banque de France.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will participate remotely as well as Chinese and Brazilian ministers, while World Bank President David Malpass will be absent.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, who warned Wednesday of a darkening global economic outlook, is expected to attend in person.

Besides war and its impact on inflation and the food and fuel crises, financial inclusion and global tax reform should also be on the menu.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is due to present a progress report on global tax reform, with a rate minimum tax of at least 15% on the profits of multinationals. Its implementation has been postponed to 2024, compared to mid-2023 initially planned.

With information from Reuters

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