The Australian government has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as prolonging the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing finance ministers from across the world, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Russia’s actions have not only had a human cost but also increased global uncertainty.
The treasurer is attending the two-day G20 finance ministers and central bank governors summit in Bali alongside Reserve Bank of Australia head Philip Lowe.
“It is Russia’s invasion that has undermined energy and food security, and not the sanctions, and so Russia must take full responsibility for this,” Dr Chalmers told the meeting on Friday.
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“The global economic situation has deteriorated and we are entering a difficult, if not dangerous, phase with costs and consequences for all of us.
“This is the sobering reality that we confront.”
But in the midst of energy shortages, it was also an opportunity for the world to take up clean power sources, Dr Chalmers said.
“By increasing uncertainty around energy security, Russia’s war on Ukraine has also reinforced the urgency of seeking cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy – an area which my government can now show a renewed commitment to,” he said.
Dr Chalmers said world leaders will need to work together to get through the challenging economic times ahead.
“The collective response will need to be carefully calibrated to ensure that growth is sustainable, balanced and inclusive, so that all of our economies and all of our societies can be stronger after COVID than they were before,” he said.
While tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have dominated previous discussions, Russia’s finance minister will address the summit virtually and send his deputy in person.
Ukraine’s finance minister Serhiy Marchenko has also been invited to the G20 summit and will give a virtual address.
Dr Chalmers praised Mr Marchenko and the “courageous” people of Ukraine, saying Australia strongly supports the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.