The G20 meeting, which was held on September 4-5, in Hangzhou (China), came to an end. To sum up, the President of the China People’s Republic Xi Jinping announced that the 11th meeting of the “Group of Twenty`s” leaders was a great success and all desired results were achieved.
The main topic of the G20’s summit was “building of innovative, healthy, interrelated and inclusive world economy”. Such world forums always ended with important decision, the G20’s summit in Chinese Hangzhou was not an exception.
“German wave” reports that “the nine main areas of structural reforms were agreed in the final communiqué: assistance of openness for trading and investments; promotion of labour-market reforms; raising the level of education and improvement of professional skills; promotion of innovations; improvement of infrastructure; encouragement of competition and creating of a favorable environment for business; improvement and strengthening of the financial system; promotion of fiscal reforms; raising the level of ecological stability; promotion of inclusive growth.”
However, the economic results were not the only interesting thing at the summit in China. The leaders of the participating countries discussed urgent political issues. There was a general discussion of international terrorism. The heads of the delegations of the participating countries pledged to strengthen the anti-terrorism measures, however they did not reach a view about migration crisis, as there was nothing specific said about Syria.
The general negotiations took place at the round table, the leaders held bilateral meetings on the sidelines and some of them we can call important. Certainly, the most meaningful one was the meeting of the Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin and the President of the China People’s Republic Xi Jinping. The Chinese leader hosts the guest №1 – this is how Chinese media called Vladimir Putin before the official opening of G20, which says about utmost respect to the Russian leader.
The host of the summit appraised Russia’s role in promoting healthy and stable development of the world economy. The Russian guest, appreciating Russian-Chinese cooperation, said: “China and Russia have reached a high degree of belief and cooperation”. This meeting, against the background of so-called isolation, which the western media regularly inform about, confirmed that Russia and China develop a comprehensive partnership and mutually advantageous cooperation and also they have an agreement of opinions in pressing international and regional problems. Moreover, the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping passed an opinion that China and Russia have to bolster a mutual political support, including the protection of the sovereignty.
One of the most expected meetings was the meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. The meeting was initiated by the American side. The heads of states had been discussing the Syrian and Ukrainian crises in private for one and a half hour. After that, they charged the heads of foreign offices to continue the work. According to Barack Obama, the meeting with Vladimir Putin was held in “open, fair and business” tone, but the presidents only expressed the opinions about the problems of Syria and Ukraine without coming to an agreement. The work is proceeding in these areas. It seems like the Russian leader is ready to discuss the topical problems with the new head of the White House.
A specific issue is Ukraine. It was suggested that there could be the meeting of “Normandy format” at the summit: the leaders of Russia, France and Germany had already been in China and the Ukrainian president could have been invited, especially as the leaders of other countries, which were not the members of G20 summit, had been invited. But Petro Poroshenko hadn’t been invited, however, according to his words, the world attention was focused on the Ukrainian events. At the beginning, the Russian president met with the French president, François Hollande, and then with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. The results corresponded with the format – an exchange of views about Ukrainian issue, which was discussed without participation of “hero of the day”.
The initiator of the meeting in China was Poroshenko, but after the murder of Russian law enforcement officers by the Ukrainian diversionists in Crimea, Putin said that the meeting of “Normandy format” did not have sense. He softened his position later. At the press-conference Putin said: ʺProbably, we have to (to communicate – Ed.). There is no choice. It seems like no one wants to meet for the sake of a meeting, unless Poroshenko does”.
The meeting of the main Russian antagonists, US president Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Theresa May, was rather interesting. At the press-conference of two leaders Barack Obama said: ʺThe UK has confirmed the commitments as for the transatlantic security architecture. We are NATO allies and we see the world the same way. We will continue to oppose the Russian aggression in Ukraine, cyber threat, terrorist networks and ISIS”.
It is not surprising. America and England are historical allies and historical enemies of Russia at the same time. It is clear that they express unanimity about confrontation with Russia. By the way, Merkel and Hollande’s meeting with Obama at the G20 showed North Atlantic solidarity about the Ukrainian question. The positions are quiet clear, but what results have been achieved – the time will tell.
Another meeting attracted the world attention at the summit. Brazil, Russia, India, China and Republic of South Africa made up their minds to broaden contacts. There is a prospect of influencing on the IMF’s decision. ʺThe BRICS’s countries have already increased the overall share in the Fund’s capital to 14.89% and almost approached 15% blocking threshold, and, undoubtedly, we need to go further, promoting the IMF’s reforms,ʺ Vladimir Putin said.
There were many interesting meetings, but G20 summit had one more memorable moment. Against the backdrop of Chinese-Russian friendship, the public humiliation of the US president Barack Obama made it plain that the sole US dominance had come to an end. The US’s anti-China policy gave the result: there was no boarding ramp and red carpet on arrival of the American Air Force One, moreover the president Obama had to walk down the emergency ladder. But it was not the end of the Americans’ humiliation. The American journalists were pushed away from “the presidential pool”, the representative of the American administration said indignantly: “This is the American president and the US will lay down the rules for the president”, and the Chinese colleague responded: “This is our country. This is our airport.”
I cannot recall anyone humiliating the US in such manner. Russian president Vladimir Putin presented to Chinese president Xi Jinping a box of Russian ice-cream and the American president left the plane through “the back door.”
The high hopes had been laid on the G20 summit in Chinese Hangzhou and the past meeting justified them. Even if there was no chance to find specific ways to improve the world economy, “Normandy format” already looked like an effective mechanism than a club. It is almost normal for geopolitics that the political negotiations did not lead to any results. However, the time will tell.
Evgeny Orlov, the deputy of the DPR People’s Council
Official website of the DPR People’s Council