At a meeting of the foreign ministers of the 19 most important economic nations and the EU in New Delhi, there was a direct confrontation between German representative Annalena Baerbock and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Baerbock, who sat opposite him in the meeting room in the Indian capital Lavrov, called on him on Thursday to end Russia's war against Ukraine. As it was said from delegation circles, turned several times directly to the Russian Foreign Minister. "Mr. Lavrov, stop this war! Stop violating our international order! Stop bombing Ukrainian cities and civilians!" said Baerbock. Russia must end the war not in a month or a week, but today. "Because every family that loses a father, a brother, a mother, a child, loses a whole world," Baerbock said.

Till Fähnders

Political correspondent for Southeast Asia.

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The Russian, who had reportedly seemed rather uninterested before, listened and fixed the minister. A little later, he is said to have made a derogatory hand gesture. It was good that he was in the hall that day and listening, said Baerbock in her speech. She was also alluding to the fact that Lavrov had left the hall at the G20 foreign ministers' meeting last year in Bali after his own speech and had not listened to the replies of his critics, including the German foreign minister.

On Thursday, Lavrov spoke some time after the German. The wording of his speech was not initially available. Baerbock accused Russia of preventing the group of the 20 most important economic powers from devoting itself to the real issues with its war of aggression: "At the Bali summit and every single G-20 ministerial meeting, we had to deal with this brutal breach of multilateralism, the brutal breach of the UN Charter and the brutal Russian war of aggression."

"Global governance has failed"

Fittingly, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a video address to the ministerial meeting that multilateralism was currently in crisis. "The architecture of global governance created after World War II was intended to serve two functions: First, to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests. Second, to promote international cooperation on issues of common interests," Modi said. "The experience of recent years – with the financial crisis, climate change, the pandemic, terrorism and wars – clearly shows that global governance has failed in both tasks," Modi said. The consequences of this failure must be borne above all by the developing countries, said the Indian Prime Minister.

For its G-20 chairmanship this year, India has made it its mission to make the so-called Global South more heard. The host had put discussions on multilateralism, the food and energy crisis, development cooperation and the fight against terrorism on the agenda for Thursday's meeting, which was to continue in the afternoon local time. An Indian official had said before the meeting that the consequences of the war on the world economy and developing countries should be given as much attention as the war itself. It is only natural that the discussions of the foreign ministers would be taken over by the "geopolitical tensions" of the day, Prime Minister Modi said. "However, as the world's leading economic powers, we also have a responsibility to those who are not here in the room."

It was initially unclear whether there would be a joint final communiqué at the end of the meeting. At the meeting of G-20 finance ministers a week ago, the different parties had not been able to agree on a joint declaration. Russia and China had refused to agree to a passage calling for an end to the war. Instead, India issued a presidential declaration that also set out the dissenting positions. The wording came from the final declaration of the G-20 summit last year in Bali. Now the question arose whether the consensus, which had been laboriously reached in Bali, was no longer valid for some of the signatories. According to government officials, however, New Delhi is sticking to the wording of the Bali declaration. India had played a significant role in ensuring that the declaration came about in the first place.