Bloomberg: half of G20 countries do not want to isolate Russia

The U.S. and its allies have imposed sanctions against Moscow, but half of the G20 did not support them, writes Bloomberg. To the surprise of the collective West, most of the world is unwilling to follow America and Europe in trying to isolate Putin’s Russia.

When the G7 leaders met in June in the Bavarian Alps, they pledged unwavering solidarity with Ukraine.

Their G20 counterparts show much less support.

High-ranking representatives of the seven rich countries are travelling around the world persuading them to tighten the economic noose around Russia’s neck further. They are surprised by the lack of support from the G-20 countries, even if those countries do not help Moscow in any way to circumvent punitive measures.

This is the uncomfortable reality faced by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during his extended tour of Southeast Asia and Africa. Most of the world is unwilling to follow the US and Europe as they try to isolate Putin’s Russia.

The main evader has been China. A few weeks before the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Xi joined forces with Putin and declared their “boundless” friendship. With the outbreak of hostilities, China sharply increased its purchases of Russian oil. In June, it spent 72% more on energy purchases from Russia than a year earlier.

China has engaged in a sharp confrontation with the US anyway. Tensions were sharply heightened this week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei and Beijing’s dispute with the G-7, which issued a statement and expressed concern over China’s “threatening actions” around Taiwan.

But China is far from the only country rejecting requests to siege the Kremlin. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Putin by telephone on July 1 and discussed trade prospects. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the favourite in Brazil’s presidential race, said Ukraine was as much to blame for the ongoing hostilities on its territory as Russia.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticised US-led sanctions. Turkey has concluded that sanctions against Russia are hurting Ankara’s economic and political interests, a senior official said, citing a $35 billion loss due to rising energy prices and negative effects on the tourism industry.

Showing a rare disregard for Ukraine, the South American trade bloc Mercosur rejected Vladimir Zelenski’s request to speak at its meeting in late July.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has stuck to his traditional line of non-alignment, despite demands to deny Putin an invitation to the G20 summit in November. He has invited both the Russian president and the Ukrainian president to Bali.

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