Trudeau calls on the G20 to reconsider Russia’s seat at the table

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that the G20 group of nations must reassess the involvement of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“As far as Vladimir Putin sitting around this table with the rest of us, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult for us and unproductive for the G20,” Trudeau told reporters before entering the House of Commons.

“At the end of the day, it can’t be business as usual to have Vladimir Putin sitting around the table pretending everything is fine. Because it’s not OK and it’s his fault.”

Trudeau said the G20, which he described as a group dedicated to ensuring economic growth, will not be able to function with Russian participation.

“Russia has, at this time, with its illegal invasion of Ukraine, disrupted economic growth for everyone in the world and cannot be a constructive partner in the way we handle…the crisis,” he said. he declared.

The next G20 meeting will take place on November 15-16 in Bali, Indonesia.

Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia said Putin planned to attend.

“It will depend on many, many things, including the COVID situation, which is improving. So far, his intention is… whatever he wants,” said Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva Last week.

Russian officials said President Vladimir Putin, seen here on March 25, plans to attend the November meeting of G20 leaders in Indonesia. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool/The Associated Press)

The G20 comprises the largest economies in the world and counts the European Union among its members.

Many members condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, imposed punitive sanctions on Russia, and provided arms and equipment to the Ukrainian military during the conflict.

US President Joe Biden said last week he thought Russia should be kicked out of the group, if the other members agreed.

“My answer is yes, [but] it depends on the G20,” he told reporters on March 24 after the NATO summit in Brussels.

Biden said if the other G20 members did not agree to Russia being excluded from the group, Ukraine – which is not a member – should be invited to attend the November meetings.

Trudeau said conversations between G20 leaders and the group’s chairman on Russia’s status in the group are continuing, but it seems unlikely that a consensus on the issue will be reached.

China, which has criticized Western intervention in the Ukraine crisis, voiced support for maintaining Russia’s G20 membership as recently as last week.

“Russia is an important member and no member has the right to withdraw another country as a member. The G20 should implement true multilateralism, strengthen unity and cooperation,” the spokesperson said. of Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin at a press conference on March 23.

India, which has abstained from all United Nations votes condemning Russia’s actions, may also not want to push for Russia’s withdrawal.