G20 Decries ‘Use Of Force’ In Ukraine For ‘Territorial’ Gain

G20 summit host India has walked a diplomatic tightrope over the Ukraine war.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (5L) looks on during at the start of the second working session of the G20 Leaders’ Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)


G20 leaders decried the use of force in Ukraine for territorial gain in a summit statement on Saturday, without naming Russia.

Referencing the “war in Ukraine”, the document said that “all states” should “refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state”.

There was no explicit reference to Russia, unlike in a G20 statement in Bali last year that cited a UN resolution condemning “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

Nonetheless US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan welcomed the phrasing. “From our perspective, it does a very good job,” he told reporters.

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It reinforced the principles that states could not use force for territorial gain, that using nuclear weapons was “inadmissible”, and that “a just peace must be based on the principles of the UN Charter, including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he said.

“Attacks on civilian infrastructure, including grid infrastructure, must halt,” Sullivan added.

G20 summit host India has walked a diplomatic tightrope over the Ukraine war.

It has balanced its traditional alliance with Moscow — the provider of most of its arms imports, and now a source of cut-price oil — with its membership of the Quad grouping alongside the United States, Japan and Australia.