Source Global Times
BEIJING, China--After weaponizing the global financial and trade system in its frenzied economic sanctions against Russia, Washington now appears to be seeking to use another crucial multilateral platform to promote its reckless, dangerous anti-Russia mania.
Ahead of the upcoming G20 summit later this year in Indonesia, several media reports indicated on Tuesday that the US was rallying its Western allies to potentially kick Russia out of the grouping of the world's 20 major economies.
In a defiant move, Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin of Russia intends to attend the G20 summit later this year, according to Reuters.
First and foremost, Washington's absurd move has little chance of succeeding. Any attempt to exclude a member could be vetoed by other G20 members.
China on Wednesday expressed opposition to the US attempt. "Russia is an important member of the G20, and no member has the right to expel other countries," Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a press briefing.
Last week, officials in Indonesia, which holds the presidency of the G20 this year, made it clear that the G20 was a mechanism for multilateral economic cooperation and the Ukraine crisis will not be included in the agenda for the summit.
Though it has faced no shortage of challenges and disruptions over the years, the G20 has become a crucial multilateral platform for the world's major economic powers to coordinate everything from economic policies to climate change actions.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the G20 has established the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to help developing countries concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic.
The G20 countries have also helped launch the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access, or COVAX, facility to lead the global effort to distribute vaccines. So far, the facility has raised $11 billion in total, well short of the $18 billion it initially said it needs, and global public health leaders are urging the G20 to do more.
Currently, while global attention has been focused on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, other global challenges remain acute, including the lingering pandemic, a slow and uneven recovery from the pandemic, disrupted global supply chains and growing geopolitical tensions.
Unfortunately, Washington's attempt to use the platform to promote its anti-Russia mania will undermine meaningful discussions at the upcoming G20 summit, even though it will inevitably fail to expel Russia from the grouping.
The selfishness and viciousness behind such an attempt is truly appalling, but sadly it is not surprising. The US has a long track record of trampling over multilateralism by injecting its toxic domestic politics and selfish geopolitical agenda above the interests of the entire international community.
Over the past several years, under an "America First" agenda, Washington has constantly disregarded the UN Charter, paralyzed the WTO's Appellate Body, imposed countless unilateral sanctions on a host of countries, including its own allies, tore up multilateral trade and other agreements, and withdrew from crucial global initiatives to combat climate change and other issues.
This shameless protectionist agenda was first launched by Donald Trump, but has continued and even been exacerbated under incumbent Joe Biden.
For now, Washington appears to face little pushback in its constant attack on multilateralism, with some of its allies even indulging and aiding in that.