Because of its month-old invasion of Ukraine, Russia should be eliminated from the Group of 20 major world economies (G20), U.S. President Joe Biden said during Thursday’s extraordinary meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels.
“My answer is yes, depends on the G20,” Biden said, when asked by reporters if Russia should be removed from the group.
The Kremlin is accusing the United States of pressuring other countries to support that position, although the idea of removing Russia from the G20 is gathering steam on its own among some of the member nations.
But China has come forward in Russia’s defense, saying the G20 is a forum to discuss economic issues, not geopolitical ones like the invasion of Ukraine.
Indonesia, which hosts the next G20 meeting in October, is also unlikely to agree to expel Russia from that body.
Biden acknowledged that removing Russia would have to be a group decision; barring that, Biden said, then Ukraine should be allowed to attend the meeting as well.
The G20 is a major international platform that includes 19 large economies from the developed and developing world and the European Union. The bloc’s members represent 85 percent of global output, 75 percent of international trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.
The 17th Group of 20 Heads of State and Government Summit will take place in October 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, escalating the conflict that started between the two countries that stared in 2014.
This invasion is the largest military assault on a European state since World War II and it has triggered Europe’s largest refugee crisis since that war; to date, more than 3.6 million Ukrainians have fled the country as cities and towns are leveled.