Home » Main » Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a plenary meeting of the G20 Ministerial Council on multilateralism, global economy and development, New Delhi, March 2, 2023

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a plenary meeting of the G20 Ministerial Council on multilateralism, global economy and development, New Delhi, March 2, 2023


We are grateful to our Indian friends for the warm welcome and effective G20 leadership as well as for strengthening G20 ties with the Global South. We join in the condolences extended to the governments and peoples of Türkiye and Syria in connection with the devastating earthquakes.

We stand in solidarity with New Delhi’s call to build a common future for humanity, which is especially important in the context of growing geopolitical confrontation. We share the practical objectives of strengthening multilateralism and overcoming global economic crises set during India’s Presidency.

I would like to apologise to the Presidency and our colleagues from the Global South for the improper behaviour of a number of Western delegations, which turned the discussion on the G20 agenda into a travesty in an attempt to shift their responsibility for failures in economic policy to others, primarily Russia. It’s kind of funny that the representatives of the countries whose leaders admitted that they have been sabotaging the UN Security Council resolution and flooding Ukraine with weapons for war against Russia since 2015 were trying so hard.

The aggressive Russophobia appears particularly outrageous given that the G20 Western members have never grieved at the G20 meetings over the many hundreds of thousands of lives lost in Washington’s reckless adventures in the Middle East under the pretext of national security threats that came from places 10,000 miles away from the US borders.

We see no alternative to the sole legitimate international order that is embodied in the UN Charter’s basic principles. We would like to emphasise its bedrock provisions, namely, sovereign equality of states and strict adherence to international treaties, including universal conventions on the rights of ethnic minorities, which were trampled upon by the Kiev regime to the applause of its Western masters. Russia consistently opposes the attempts to destroy the supporting structure of international law or to replace it with far-fetched “rules” or “double standards.”

The formation of a polycentric world calls for recognising civilisational diversity and mutual respect for interests. It is imperative to stop being guided by the flawed logic of domination, diktat and sanctions. We welcome the rise of new centres of influence in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Integration processes continue within the Eurasian Economic Union space. Prospects are opening up for coupling its potential with other multilateral associations and initiatives on our common continent, such as the SCO, Belt and Road Initiative, and ASEAN. For this purpose we plan to make wide use of the capabilities offered by President Putin’s initiative on creating a broad integration association in the form of the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

We will strive to democratise economic management. We support the African Union’s G20 membership. We advocate for increasing the role of the developing economies at the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO and eliminating the Western monopoly in environmental and human rights organisations.

We are witnessing the West-provoked deterioration and weaponising of international economic relations, including in the energy sector. We are shocked to see the masterminds behind the act of sabotage against the Nord Stream main gas pipelines within the NATO and the EU area of responsibility get away with what they did. We insist on an honest and swift investigation into that terrorist attack to be conducted with the participation of Russia and other stakeholders. We insist on ensuring energy security and access for all countries to energy resources at affordable prices and eliminating unfair competition. The green agenda and successful energy transition must be promoted without imposing on countries models requiring expensive technologies that are detrimental to national socioeconomic development plans. It is imperative to put a stop to illegitimate sanctions, all forms of violations of freedom of international trade, market manipulation and arbitrary introduction of price ceilings or other attempts to appropriate other countries’ natural resources.

It’s time to stop playing the food card. This crisis stems from the West printing trillions of US dollars and euros early on during the COVID-19 pandemic and buying up food supplies around the world. Today, the bulk of grain supplies from Ukraine are being shipped at giveaway fodder prices to the EU, rather than to the poorest countries that need them. Russia’s efforts to export agricultural products are openly obstructed around the world, no matter how hard the EU officials, who are so used to telling lies, are trying to convince everyone otherwise. Batches of free Russian fertilisers, in particular, for Africa, remain blocked at European ports. Without any scruples, the West is burying the UN Secretary-General’s well-known humanitarian initiative.

Against this backdrop, Russia is diversifying economic ties and expanding trade with its partners who are capable of negotiations. We are part of the efforts to create a gas distribution hub in Türkiye. We will host another Russia-Africa Summit in July. Acting within BRICS, the SCO and the EAEU, we are committed to form reliable transport corridors and independent payment systems and to expand settlements in national currencies.

We will continue to make a major contribution to ensuring economic stability. We are open to an equitable dialogue at the G20. We hope that the Delhi summit in September will at least mitigate the risks created by the self-serving Western policies.

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