Oz Chided for Implying Bar on Russia Participation
The emerging powers five-nation bloc, BRICS, has castigated Australia for implying that Russian president Vladimir Putin may not be allowed to participate in G20 summit, as well as the west-imposed sanctions regime - even though the joint statement hedged its bet on giving a clear support to Moscow on its Ukraine action.
The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) had met on the sidelines of Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands on Monday.
There was no mention of Ukraine in the joint statement, but the allusion was clear. “BRICS countries agreed that the challenges that exist within the regions of the countries must be addressed within the fold of the United Nations in a calm and level- headed manner,” it said.
The statement then added, “The escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions, and force does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution, according to international law, including the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter”. It was certainly a clear rejection of the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Russia. But, the reference to counter-sanctions could also be referring to Russia’s tit-for-tat sanctions on nine US officials.
The strongest remarks were reserved for Australia. “The Ministers noted with concern, the recent media statement on the forthcoming G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November 2014. The custodianship of the G20 belongs to all member states equally and no one member state can unilaterally determine its nature and character,” said the joint statement.
Australia had joined the west’s condemnation of Russia. Last week, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had kept the possibility of travel ban on Russian president Putin’s participation open, which led to a strong reaction from BRICS on Monday.