Will there be a protest? It is eagerly awaited what reactions the participation of the Russian foreign minister at the G20 meeting in Bali will trigger. Observers see Lavrov’s presence as a test.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in Bali for a meeting of foreign ministers from the G20 group of states. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), who is due to arrive on the Indonesian island on Thursday evening (local time), is also taking part in the consultations. Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is expected to overshadow the meeting of the group of leading and emerging economic powerhouses.
Lavrov wanted to hold talks with his Chinese colleague Wang Yi and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday, the Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. The US State Department had previously said that a bilateral meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Lavrov was not planned.
Lavrov’s presence is seen as a test for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin’s possible participation in the G20 summit on November 15 and 16, which is also taking place in Bali. Several states have questioned their participation should Putin appear in person.
A joint final declaration is not to be expected
Indonesia, the world’s largest island nation, holds the G20 presidency this year. President Joko Widodo traveled to Kyiv and Moscow at the end of June and met both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin. He had offered a mediating role in the conflict.
It is eagerly awaited whether some ministers will leave the deliberations in protest at Lavrov’s presence, which could lead to a scandal. The spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Teuku Faizasyah, did not want to comment on this, but emphasized: “We diplomats should be prepared for different scenarios.” In all likelihood, there will be no joint final declaration by the G20. The spokesman said a statement from the State Department is planned at the end of Friday’s meeting. The government in Cambodia announced that it had also invited Lavrov to meetings of the Southeast Asian community of states ASEAN in early August.