UPDATE 1-G20 will struggle to agree on a communiqué at the summit – German official


G20 summit overshadowed by Russian war in Ukraine


Scholz heads to G20 summit after Vietnam and Singapore


The G20 has struggled to reach agreements this year but still relevant


Berlin does not have a prepared answer for a possible Putin presence

(Add details, background)

By Andreas Rinke and Sarah Marsh

BERLIN, Nov 9 (Reuters) – The G20 will struggle to reach agreement on a final communiqué at its leaders’ summit next week in Indonesia, with Sherpas still squabbling over many issues, including the wording of the war in Ukraine, a German government official said on Wednesday.

Indonesia’s G20 presidency this year and its preparations for the November 15-16 summit on the island of Bali have been overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting global food and energy crisis.

The group of the 20 most powerful economies in the world includes Russia but also countries like Germany and the United States which imposed heavy sanctions on Moscow during the war.

With the group divided over the war in Ukraine as well as other issues, work within the G20 has proven particularly tricky this year, said the German official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This was underscored by an unprecedented lack of statements at ministerial meetings under the Indonesian presidency, the official said. Often the G20 had not even been able to reach a majority decision on issues.

The friction has been such that some countries have been able to try to open up issues on which they had already agreed on a compromise last year.

Still, the G20 – which represents more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 60% of its population – remains a relevant forum and will address topics ranging from food security and health to digital transformation, said the manager.


Trade disputes with the United States over what many countries see as its growing protectionism could also be on the agenda, the official said.

Berlin wants to avoid the formation of factions at the summit and will measure the success of the event as much by bilateral talks as by a possible statement, added the official.

The German government has not prepared a particular response for a possible presence in person of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the official said.

When asked if peace talks with Ukraine could take place at the G20 summit, the official said that was not the appropriate forum and that eventuality was still a long way off anyway. Russia not being ready to take the necessary first steps.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Bali for the summit after visits to Vietnam and Singapore on his second trip to Asia this month.

Germany will seek to further diversify its trade in the region with travel to the two fast-growing economies, the official said, and show its increasingly strong commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The visits follow Scholz’s controversial trip to China, Germany’s biggest trading partner, which raised concerns about Europe’s biggest economy’s dependence on Asia’s rising superpower after his addiction to Russian gas.

In Vietnam, raw material sourcing will be on the agenda, among other topics, while in Singapore, the German government will discuss how the sovereign wealth fund could invest in its green energy transition, the official said. . (Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Andreas Rinke; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

James R. Rhodes