President Joe Biden is confronting competing issues at home and abroad while he’s at the Group of 20 Summit in Bali this week, using the moment on the world’s stage to lean into international support for condemning Russia’s aggression while also facing the prospect of hearing Donald Trump announce his next run for the presidency.
Administration officials previewing Biden’s G20 summit activities have their sights set on the coalition’s efforts to voice its opposition against the war in Ukraine, which could send a powerful signal amongst a group that’s so far had fragmented approaches to the Kremlin’s aggression.
This marks the first time the group has gathered in-person since the start of the invasion, and most G20 members are expected to sign onto a statement condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine “and the human suffering it has caused both for Ukrainians and for families in the developing world that are facing food and fuel insecurity as a result,” a senior administration official said.
Such an expression of condemnation has been the work of months of diplomacy between G20 leaders. However, it’s not clear yet exactly which countries will sign onto the declaration.
Although the G20 is comprised of world powers who have long backed Ukraine during the war, it also includes other nations that have been tepid in their response to Russia’s aggression — including India, China, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, the host of this year’s summit. The coalition, which is broadly focused on the global economy, also includes Russia itself. But Russian President Vladimir Putin is not making an appearance at the summit this year.
Since the spring, US officials have anticipated a showdown at this year’s G20 over the war. Biden has stated Russia should no longer be a member of the bloc, though expelling Moscow would require support from all of the G20’s members.
As of now, no official “family photo” is listed on a schedule, a sign of the deep acrimony within the G20 spurred by the war in Ukraine.
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