Russia’s war in Ukraine has brought the world to a standstill when urgent action is needed to address growing global poverty, India’s G20 summit negotiator Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday.
Kant’s comments follow two back-to-back G20 ministerial meetings in India in the last three weeks overshadowed by the war, which entered its second year last month.
India, which holds the bloc’s presidency this year, has sought to highlight the economic impact of the conflict as well as issues such as climate change and poorer countries’ debt.
“Europe cannot bring growth, poverty, global debt, all developmental issues to a standstill across the world,” Kant told reporters.
“Especially when the south is suffering, especially when 75 countries are suffering from global debt, especially when one-third of the world is in recession, especially when 200 million people have gone below poverty line. Can that one war bring the entire world to a standstill?”
“Nutrition has been impacted, health outcomes have been impacted, learning outcomes have been impacted, people have become stunted and wasted and we are just concerned with one Russia and Ukraine war,” Kant said. “The world needs to move on and Europe needs to find a solution to its challenges.”
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has said Europe must grow out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.
India has declined to blame Russia for the war and has sought a diplomatic solution while boosting its purchases of Russian oil.
Kant said it is “premature” to even talk about whether U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin would attend a summit of leaders of the bloc in New Delhi on Sept. 9-10.
The Kremlin said on Monday that it was not ruling out Putin attending the summit.
Putin has not travelled beyond the former Soviet Union since sending his armed forces into Ukraine in February last year, and missed November’s G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
The G20 includes the rich G7 nations as well as Russia, China, India, Brazil, Australia and Saudi Arabia, among other countries.