On G20 Summit, top EU official says ‘two days won’t dissolve all problems of the world’; focus on backing Ukraine

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President of European Council Charles Michel on Friday said the current G20 Summit won’t ‘dissolve all the problems of the world in two days’ while extending support to the African Union in its bid to join the group of twenty (G20) as permanent membership.

“I don’t think that this G20 will dissolve in two days all the problems of the world…But I feel it can be a route step into a direction to ensure to make it happen and to support Indian presidency…The European Union is looking forward to welcome African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” he said at a press conference in New Delhi ahead of the mega event, scheduled on September 9 and 10.

The G20 grouping of nations has earlier agreed to grant permission the permanent membership to the 55 member-led African Union, a status similar to that of the European Union (EU). This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in June this year, wrote to G20 members proposing the AU be given permanent membership of the bloc at the current summit.

“Our presidency has not only seen the largest-ever participation from African countries but has also pushed for the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” he wrote in an article that was published across dailies.

Michel further ascertained that the EU will continue to defend and support Ukraine in the current summit and use the forum as ‘one more occasion to make the clarity about the Russian behaviour’.

“It’s frankly scandalous that Russia, after having terminated the Black Sea grain initiative, is blocking and attacking Ukrainian ports. This must stop,” he said.

The current G20 Summit is likely to witness a tough bargaining over the issue that made a significant global impact after Russia carried out the so-called ‘special military campaign’ since last year.

Earlier this week, a top EU official asserted that Ukraine will the bloc’s first priority in this summit and added that it ‘wished’ for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s participation in the event. “But we respect the decision of the host.”

“We can’t say if a joint statement will be issued (at the end of the G20 summit)…text prepared by the Indians is not sufficient for G7 and the EU,” the official said earlier.

Russia stepped out of the agreement, brokered by Turkey and United Nations, that ensured grain shipment from Ukraine along the corridor in the Black Sea. The Kremlin claimed that it had failed to fulfil the goal of relieving hunger in Africa.

“The Kremlin’s offer of one million tonnes of grain to Africa is absolutely cynical,” Michel added.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to skip the G20 Summit in New Delhi, or make a video address. However, country’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will his place in the event.