European Council President Charles Michel at a press conference in New Delhi on September 8 (Photo: AP)

G20 summit may not be able to resolve all global issues but can take bold steps: EU

New Delhi: The President of the European Council Charles Michel said the G20 Summit in New Delhi may not be enough to solve all global issues but can take bold steps towards resolving them in future.

The statement comes at a time when India is making efforts to build consensus for a final declaration. Noting that it would be difficult to predict whether an agreement would be reached on the declaration, Michel said the EU would support India’s efforts. The European Council is the institution under the EU that defines the general political direction and priorities of the union.

“This G20 Summit may not solve all the problems in two days but I think it can be a bold step to make it happen,” he said at a media briefing ahead of the G20 Summit on 9 and 10 September. He said the talks involve “difficult” subjects such as climate change, fairness in digital architecture, and more support for developing countries. Michel also said the EU would continue to back Ukraine and would not shy away from imposing more sanctions on Russia.

He criticized Russia over its recently reported attacks at a Ukraine port and said they would exacerbate food shortage issues globally. “Over 250 million people face acute food insecurity worldwide and by deliberately attacking Ukraine’s port, the Kremlin is depriving them of the food they desperately need. It’s frankly scandalous that Russia, after having initiated the Black Sea Grain initiative, is blocking and attacking Ukrainian sea ports. This must stop… ships with grain need to have access to the Black Sea.”

On a question about increasing reliance on Russian oil, the European Council president said the war exposed the EU’s dependence on Russian supplies, which member countries have since tried to reduce. “The war has shown dependency on Russian fossil fuels and immediately we took a decision to remove those dependencies. We made huge progress in a few months. First by investing rapidly in renewable energy and secondly diversifying our sources of supply. We will work a lot in the months to come to speed up this process,” he said.

He also said the EU has “not hesitated to decide on some sanctions against Russian fossil fuel to make it very clear that territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is fundamental in our (EU’s) eyes”. He added that the EU could play a major role in bridging the gap between the West and the Global South.

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