(UPDATED) NUSA DUA, Indonesia: Members of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies ended their meeting on Wednesday by declaring that most of them strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and warning that the conflict is intensifying fragilities in the world’s economy.
The summit’s closing declaration was noteworthy in highlighting the war, given the divisions among the group, which includes not only Russia itself but also countries such as China and India that have significant trade ties with Moscow and have stopped short of outright criticism of the war.
Still, it acknowledged “there were other views and different assessments” and stated that the G20 is “not the forum to resolve security issues.”
The conflict loomed large over the two-day summit held on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
News of an explosion that rocked eastern Poland early in the day prompted United States President Joe Biden to hastily arrange an emergency meeting with Group of Seven and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members gathered at the summit.
Poland said the blast near the Ukrainian border was caused by a Russian-made missile and that it was investigating what happened. The NATO member stopped short of blaming Russia for the incident, which killed two people. Moscow denied involvement.
Biden said it was “unlikely” that the missile was fired from Russia, and he pledged support for Poland’s investigation.
“There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden told reporters when asked if the missile had been fired from Russia. “It is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”
Biden was joined at the G20 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, among others. Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend.
The careful wording of the final statement reflected tensions at the gathering and the challenge for the US and its allies to isolate Putin’s government. Several G20 members, including host Indonesia, are wary of becoming entangled in disputes between bigger powers.
Still, the declaration was a strong rebuke of the war that has killed thousands, heightened global security tensions, and disrupted the world economy.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who led the Russian delegation to Indonesia in place of Putin, denounced the Biden administration’s push to condemn Moscow in his remarks on Tuesday.
The G20 was founded in 1999 originally as a forum to address economic challenges. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union. Spain holds a permanent guest seat.
The emergency meeting early in the day included leaders of the G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the EU, along with European Council President Charles Michel and the prime ministers of NATO allies Spain and the Netherlands.
Biden held a separate meeting later with Sunak, in their first extended conversation since the UK’s first premier of color took office last month.
“We’re going to continue to support Ukraine as long as Russia continues their aggression,” Biden said alongside Sunak, adding that he was “glad we’re on the same page” in backing Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Russia pounded Ukrainian cities with dozens of missile strikes in its biggest barrage yet on the country’s energy facilities, which have been repeatedly struck as winter approaches.
Biden said the leaders condemned the latest Russian attacks, which have caused widespread blackouts.
“The moment when the world came together at the G20 to urge de-escalation, Russia continues to escalate in Ukraine, while we’re meeting,” Biden said.