Roderich Kiesewetter, MdB, CDU, Vorsitzender des Parlamentarischen Kontrollgremiums, posiert fuer ein Foto. Berlin, 15.02.2022 Berlin Deutschland *** Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the Bundestag, CDU, Chairman of the Parliamentary Control Committee, poses for a photo Berlin, 15 02 2022 Berlin Germany Copyright: xThomasxTrutschel/photothek.dex

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) actually wanted to call for an end to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the G-20 states in the face of her Moscow counterpart Sergey Lavrov. But things turned out differently at the conference of 20 leading and emerging economic powerhouses on the Indonesian island of Bali on Friday.

Lavrov gave a speech criticizing Western policy in the Ukraine war. Then it was Baerbock’s turn with her replica. But before she could fully unfold her speech against Russia’s illegal war, Lavrov left the hall in the luxury hotel Mulia. Lavrov’s spokeswoman then announced his departure.

The group of G-7 countries, of which Germany currently holds the presidency, had long considered how to deal with the foreign ministers’ meeting of the most important industrialized and emerging countries in Bali. Not only Russia belongs to the group of G20, but also countries like China and India. The two countries abstained from voting at the United Nations on the Russian invasion in March. In the end, the Western states agreed not to stay away from the diplomatic meeting in Bali, but on the contrary to take a stand on the Ukraine war. The calculation was that Russia should not be given the stage there alone.

Is it a sign of Russia’s isolation within the G20 that Lavrov left the meeting early? According to the CDU foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter, the opposite is the case. “Lavrov knows that the majority of the world’s population, represented by a few states, is not against Russia,” he told the Tagesspiegel. According to Kiesewetter, Lavrov “was simply able to afford the move and shows what he thinks of the critics.” His early departure is not a sign of isolation and weakness, but of a sense of power.

Before the scandal broke out, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi tried to be as neutral as possible. “Our responsibility is to end the war as soon as possible. And to build bridges and not walls,” said the hostess. As she went on to say, the war in Ukraine is having global repercussions for food, energy supply and national budgets.

Marsudi made a general appeal for peace but refrained from outright criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war. Indonesia is trying to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo will host the meeting of the G20 heads of state and government in Bali in November. The head of state invited not only Putin to the meeting, but also Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

It is currently unclear whether Putin will take part in the meeting at chief level. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) last indicated his participation in the conference in November. The former head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, meanwhile said on Twitter that given the scandal surrounding Lavrov’s early departure, Putin will now have to consider “whether he’ll even fly there” before the upcoming meeting in November.