The G20 working session on food and energy security underway in Bali on Tuesday. Image Credit: ANI

BERLIN/NUSA DUA, Indonesia: A draft of a declaration by leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, said “most” members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it was exacerbating fragilities in the global economy.

The G20 members also voiced deep concern over the challenges posed to global food security by escalating tensions, and called for the need for central bank independence to ensure they keep up efforts to rein in soaring inflation, the draft showed.

“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy,” the draft said, suggesting that Russia had opposed the language.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” said the draft declaration, which was confirmed by a European diplomat.

The 16-page document has yet to be adopted by G20 members.

In the first session of the summit held on Tuesday, many countries condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, said a delegation who was present at the meeting.

The summit, which host Indonesia and other countries have said should focus on risks to the global economy, has been overshadowed by the war.

“Recognising that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy,” the draft declaration said.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Sunday the G20 was not the place where security issues and should instead prioritise the world’s economic challenges.

The draft document also said G20 central banks were monitoring inflationary pressures and will calibrate the pace of monetary tightening to ensure inflation expectations remain well anchored.

“Central bank independence is crucial to achieving these goals and buttressing monetary policy credibility,” it said.

Fiscal stimulus measures should be “temporary and targeted” to cushion the blow of rising commodity costs for the most vulnerable, to avoid adding to inflationary pressures, the draft declaration said.

On debt problems, the draft declaration stressed the importance of all creditors to share a fair burden, without mentioning China, which has been criticised by Western countries for delaying efforts to mitigate the burden for some emerging economies.

“We reaffirm the importance of joint efforts by all actors, including private creditors, to continue working toward enhancing debt transparency,” it said.

Wrangling over how to describe the war in Ukraine has prevented G20 ministers earlier this year from issuing a joint communique.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged counterparts at the summit via video link to step up their leadership and stop Russia’s war in his country under a peace plan he has proposed.

Russia, which was represented at the summit by the foreign minister rather than President Vladimir Putin, says it is conducting a special military operation in Ukraine.