G7 Members Absent from G20 FMM Dinner Event Attended by Russia

8 July 2022 11:22 WIB

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks with India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia July 7, 2022. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/Pool

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Representatives of the G7 members on Thursday were absent from the dinner reception in Bali ahead of the G20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting (FMM). According to reports, the absence was particularly sparked by the presence of Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia. 

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday evening gave her statement regarding the situation, “G7 country delegates announced they are unable to attend the informal dinner reception as we talked about creating a comfortable situation for all delegates.”

She continued to explain that she understood the stand taken by some country delegates, “I said that I understand their positions. Because everyone must feel comfortable. Just to be present here [in Indonesia] is appreciated.”

However, Minister Retno did not specifically reveal which G7 country representatives were absent from the informal event. The G7 members comprised the United States, Britain, Italy, Japan, German, Canada, and France. 

Friction within the G20 forum was mainly sparked by Russia’s decision to conduct military aggression on its neighboring country of Ukraine earlier this year. Western countries advised Indonesia, which holds the G20 presidency this year, to avert inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to Bali and suggested inviting Ukraine representatives instead.

A Russia boycott was inevitable following the invasion which was evident in the Washington DC Finance Ministers’ Meeting back in April when US Secretary of Finance Janet Yellen and G7 members such as Canada and Britain walked out during Russia’s speech. 

"This is the first time since February 24 that all the major players have sat in the same room together at the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting. Apart from the meeting itself, we have designed other activities outside the meeting from the start that is optional and informal," Retno Marsudi explained. 

DANIEL AHMAD

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