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Modi will count G20 consensus as a win – but it shows how low the bar for success is | Politics News

Narendra Modi wanted to showcase his ability to bridge global divides at this G20 in Delhi.

The fact he has reached a consensus on the first day of this G20 serves as proof of his capability.

As a PR expert, he will undoubtedly portray it as a significant and early achievement. The Ukraine issue was always expected to be challenging.

What he has managed to avoid is a potential unprecedented failure – leaving this summit without any agreement.

However, it is important to note that the paragraph regarding the Ukraine war is a diluted version of what was agreed upon in Bali last year.

It calls for “a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine” and emphasizes that “today’s era must not be dominated by war”.

Notably, it does not mention Russia by name and omits any direct reference to Russian aggression.

Interestingly, it also urges member states not to “undermine the territorial integrity of any state”.

These words could be interpreted as an attempt to appease Russia, which has voiced concerns about attacks on its territory.

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We know that Mr. Modi exerted significant effort to encourage other G20 members to listen to the perspectives of Moscow and Beijing.

What is particularly revealing in the language of this declaration, however, is the assertion that “G20 is not the appropriate forum for resolving geopolitical issues”.

This overtly acknowledges the limitations of this group, as a new world order is emerging.

Mr. Modi is positioning himself at the center of this new order. He has skillfully navigated the complex political landscape and positioned himself as a mediator in a divided world.

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The United States, eager to find a counterbalance to Moscow, is seeking his alliance and is willing to overlook concerns about his nationalism.

Simultaneously, while embracing Joe Biden, Mr. Modi has effectively maintained good relations with Vladimir Putin. Russia remains a Cold War ally that Delhi is not yet ready to sever ties with, and India continues to benefit from affordable Russian oil and gas.

In the case of China, its absence from the G20 gives Mr. Modi an opportunity to present India as a rising global superpower, while Beijing faces financial difficulties.

The inclusion of the African Union as a member also enhances Mr. Modi’s portrayal of this summit as an inclusive gathering that connects the developed and developing worlds.

This G20 summit presents a golden opportunity for India’s leader to kickstart his election campaign ahead of next year’s vote. Today’s declaration provides him with something to present to voters.

However, what this summit has also revealed is the low standards for success in a deeply fragmented global political landscape.