Vladimir Putin took part in the G20 conference for the first time in a long time

mBy appearing at the virtual G-20 Summit, Vladimir Putin is attempting to return to the world stage. It was the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that the president took part in a conference with representatives of Western industrialized countries on Wednesday. At the G-20 summit in New Delhi in September, he was represented by his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also because there was an arrest warrant against him from the International Criminal Court. It now suits him that the second summit on Wednesday takes place only via video link. Putin’s spokesman announced that he would convey Russia’s views on the “extremely unstable world situation.”

In his speech, Putin made famous accusations such as that industrialized countries were responsible for economic problems. In his speech, Putin spoke of the Ukraine war as a “tragedy” and said that the “death of so many people” must have been “shocking”, but he denied responsibility for it and relativized his attack. On the one hand, he once again accused the “Kiev regime” of waging “war against its own people in Donbass,” and on the other, he asked rhetorically whether “the destruction of the civilian population in Palestine, in the Gaza Strip, is not surprising today.” Doctors had to operate on children without anesthesia, “shocking, isn’t it?”

Putin took advantage of the fact that industrialized and developing countries sitting at the same table in the G20 sometimes have different views on issues such as the Middle East wars. At the BRICS summit, which also took place virtually, on Tuesday, he once again blamed the Middle East crisis on the failure of US diplomacy. In the countries of the South, which Putin wants to win over for Russia, solidarity with Palestine dominates.

Hosts India were an exception there in their defense of Israel. In his welcoming speech, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the situation in the Middle East. Terrorism and civilian deaths are unacceptable. It must be ensured that the Israel-Hamas conflict does not develop into a regional conflict. “We welcome the news of the release of the hostages. “We hope that all the hostages will be released soon,” he said of the agreement reached Wednesday morning.

It is eagerly awaited to see how Western countries will react to Putin’s speech and whether they will listen to him. In the first few months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it was said that Putin did not want to be given a platform at all. Russia’s exclusion from the group of 20 most important economic powers was even discussed.

With his appearance, Putin wants to show that he is not as isolated as the West would like. In a further gesture to developing countries, Putin claimed that the first Russian ships brought Russian wheat for free to “needy countries in Africa” “today.” Russia has repeatedly offered this to counter accusations of pulling out of a grain deal to export wheat from three Ukrainian ports.

With the second summit held just two and a half months away, India is once again demonstrating its growing importance before its leadership moves to Brazil on December 1. Since this is the second summit, India will have to make some compromises. As in September, instead of President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang appeared for China. US President Joe Biden also did not take part. According to Indian negotiators, by hosting the second G-20 summit, New Delhi wants to encourage participants to implement the results of the September summit.

Ambrose Fernandez

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