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Asia Pacific Report with Sanusha Naidoo

Mar 31, 2022

By Annisa Essack

Russia at G20: Debate on Indonesia’s guest list hits crescendo with US, China, Australia remarks

As Western leaders from the US and Australia call for Russia to be expelled from the G20 and China and India oppose their decision, Indonesia, chairing this year’s summit, has found itself walking a tightrope as it navigates the geopolitical rivalries exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  Indonesia, which supported a United Nations resolution to condemn the attack, has sought to keep the crisis off the G20 agenda.

Sanusha Naidoo, a political analyst speaking on Radio Islam today, says that the challenge is that the countries that constitute the G20 are no longer a small band of nations. Their pressure on Indonesia to exclude Russia may be more significant.

Russia, India to discuss Swift alternative for rouble payments when Lavrov visits New Delhi

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Russian banks were barred from using the international Swift payment system and now need a new cross-border payment plan after its. India’s government seeks to purchase oil and weapons from the sanctions-hit country. It is considering a proposal from Russia to use a system developed by the Russian central bank for bilateral payments.

The plan involves rupee-rouble-denominated payments using Russia’s messaging system SPFS. When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in India for a two-day visit starting on Thursday, a decision will be made.

Naidoo says these will be critical issues regarding Russia’s sanctions and, more importantly, the trade issues between the two countries.

China-India Relations: Does Wang Yi’s visit offer hope for better ties as New Delhi faces pressure on the Russia-Ukraine war?

Wang’s trip was the first high-level bilateral visit between the two countries since December 2019. There were hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough, with relations souring since a deadly clash along their shared Himalayas border in June 2020 – the worst military conflict between the two in decades. Many within Delhi’s community of strategic and geopolitical theorists are split over the visit’s outcome.

Naidu believes that the meeting would have been an ideal time to find a resolution to the border dispute.

She also commented that there seems to be a glimmer of hope for de-escalation with the many foreign ministers visiting India.

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