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West and Russia face to face at the G20 hosted by Brazil

The West and Russia will face each other on Wednesday and Thursday à Rio de Janeiro at a meeting of foreign ministers from the G20 countries, which is expected to be dominated by conflicts in Ukraine and Ukraine. agrave; Gaza.

Arriving Tuesday evening in Brazil, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken must meet the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov in this forum hosted by the Latin American giant, which has held the presidency of the group since December.

But the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, will not be present for this first major meeting of the G20 year, whose summit of heads of state will take place in November , also in Rio.

France is represented by Stéphane Séjourné, appointed to the Quai d'Orsay last month.

For Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the G20 “is the forum most likely to positively influence the international agenda”.

But his ambitions to mediate global crises appeared to have been compromised on Sunday, when he sparked a diplomatic storm by comparing the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the Holocaust. These remarks earned him the status of being declared “persona non grata” in Israel.

“If Lula thought of proposing peace resolutions during the G20, not only for the Near -East, but also for Ukraine, I think it is no longer relevant,” Igor Lucena, Brazilian specialist in international relations, told AFP.

More than four months after the start of the conflict in Gaza, peace still appears very far away. On Tuesday, the United States vetoed a new draft UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

The Outlook are at least as gloomy for the conflict in Ukraine, on which G20 members are also divided.

Despite pressure from Western countries to condemn the Russian invasion, the group's last summit, in September in New Delhi, resulted in a vague final communiqué.

The text denounced the use of force, but without citing Vladimir Putin's Russia, which maintains close ties with G20 members such as India or Brazil.

On Saturday, members of the G7, which includes the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, all allies of Ukraine, are expected to discuss in a virtual meeting tougher sanctions against Moscow.

– “Putting out fires” –

The opening session of the meeting of ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G20, which will take place at the site of Marina da Gloria, a marina with a breathtaking view of the bay of Rio, will focus on “international tensions” on Wednesday afternoon.

West and Russia face to face at the G20 hosted by Brazil

Brazilian President Lula poses during a photo session at COP28, December 1, 2023 in Dubai © AFP – Giuseppe CACACE

Thursday morning's debates are supposed to address “global governance reform”, a subject dear to Brazil, which wants to give more weight to Southern countries in institutions like the UN , the IMF or the World Bank.

“We have returned to the level of the Cold War in terms of the number of conflicts and their seriousness, which gives this subject a whole new urgency,” Mauricio Lyrio, one of the main Brazilian diplomats in charge of the G20.

“Currently, we are content to put out fires (…) We must adapt the international system so that it allows the prevention of new conflicts”, said – he added.

The two other priorities of the Brazilian presidency of the G20 are the fight against hunger and global warming.

– Election year –

Bilateral meetings are also planned on the sidelines of the meeting in Rio, but a meeting between MM. Blinken and Lavrov seem improbable in view of the tensions which followed Friday's announcement of the death in prison of Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny.

West and Russia face to face at the G20 hosted by Brazil

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) speaks on March 30, 2023 in Washington, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov participates in a press conference on February 6, 2023 in Baghdad © AFP – Mandel NGAN, AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Their last interview dates back to March 2023, during a G20 meeting in India.

Founded in 1999, the G20 brings together most of the major world economies, as well as the European Union and the African Union.

Its vocation was initially mainly economic, but it showed itself more and more most influential in world politics.

But Igor Lucena sees little chance of diplomatic progress this year, marked by major elections in around fifty countries, including the States -United and Russia.

For him, “it is not a favorable environment for resolving conflicts, on the contrary”.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116