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G20 finance meeting expected to conclude without formal communique – sources

Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong and South Korea Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 15 July 2022. Made Nagi/Pool via REUTERS

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NUSA DUA, Indonesia, July 16 (Reuters) – A two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 major economies is expected to conclude without a formal communique, as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to divide the group, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Instead, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who is hosting this week’s meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, is expected to issue a chair’s statement summarising the events of the meeting, the sources said.

Senior Western officials, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Friday condemned the war and blasted Russian officialsfor the massive economic fallout caused by the war.

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“We do not expect a communique,” one source said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”, has overshadowed recent G20 meetings, including last week’s gathering of foreign ministers.

Sri Mulyani had hoped delegates could bridge their differences over the war to jointly address rising commodity prices, an escalating food security crisis and the spillover effects on the ability of low-income countries to repay debt.

But that proved too difficult in the current climate, with Western countries enforcing strict sanctions on Russia and accusing it of war crimes in Ukraine – which Moscow denies. Other G20 nations, including like China, India and South Africa, have been more muted in their response.

Western sources had warned earlier in the week that it would be difficult to agree on a communique because the body works on the basis of consensus and Russia had blocked language about the cause of the economic downturn that has prompted the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to downgrade their forecasts.

“The G20’s capacity to act and communicate is very strongly hindered by the war in Ukraine which one of the G20 members is fully responsible for,” a French finance ministry source said.

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Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by Leigh Thomas in Paris; Editing by Sandra Maler and William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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