During two days of talks at a meeting in Bali, finance chiefs sought solutions to the food and energy crisis, accusing Russian technocrats of making the problem worse. However, the participants did not issue a final statement.
Freeland said his government protested the meeting. They don’t even want Russia on the G20 forum.
“Russia’s presence at this meeting is like inviting the arsonists to a meeting of firefighters,” he told a news conference by phone from Bali.
“It’s because Russia is directly and solely responsible for the illegal invasion of Ukraine and its economic consequences, which are felt by all of us,” Freeland said.
“We are clear and explicit that Russia’s involvement is inappropriate and frankly unreasonable,” said Freeland, who is also a Canadian-Ukrainian-born deputy prime minister.
Freeland argues that the Russian technocrats who he says are working to fund the war launched by President Vladimir Putin are as involved in war crimes as the generals on the ground attacking Ukraine.
Freeland also defended Canada’s decision to allow turbines to be returned to Germany, repaired in Canada, for use in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that carries Russian gas to Europe. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky strongly condemned this decision.
“The energy challenges facing Germany and many of our European partners are very real. And Canada recognizes that,” he said.
Earlier, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen strongly condemned the Russian delegation for continuing to support President Vladimir Putin despite launching an invasion of Ukraine and the worsening global economy.
Yellen urged Russia to take responsibility for the “terrible consequences” of the war started by Putin. He made the criticism during his speech at the opening session of the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 countries in Bali on Thursday (7/15).
During the meeting, the Russian delegation was led by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov. Meanwhile, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov participated in the meeting virtually as Yellen spoke.
Western countries, especially the United States, continue to urge Russia to be banned from attending this year’s G20 meeting, hosted by Indonesia in a firm rejection of its invasion of Ukraine in february.
However, Indonesia, as chair of this year’s G20, stressed that it remained neutral and invited all members, including Russia.
“Typical thinker. Unapologetic alcoholaholic. Internet fanatic. Pop culture advocate. Tv junkie.”