First ever G20 virtual summit begins

The first in the history of the virtual summit of the Big Twenty, dedicated to measures to combat coronavirus, began.

This year, Saudi Arabia presides in the G20, the first to take the floor is King Salman bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, Al-Arabia television reported.

The monarch reads his speech, and leaders of other countries and heads of international organizations watch him on monitors in their offices.

“We are holding our meeting, demonstrating our responsibility as leaders of the world’s largest economies to counter the coronavirus pandemic, which requires us to take decisive action at various levels”.

He called on countries to give a signal to restore confidence in the global economy. According to the king, members of the G20 must lend a helping hand to developing and least developed countries to overcome the crisis and its consequences.

Vladimir Putin joined the summit from his office in the residence near Moscow in Novo-Ogaryovo. There are also Russian Sherpa in the “twenty” Svetlana Lukash and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov.

The Russian leader brought with him a voluminous red folder, before the meeting he laid out and looked through the papers. There is also a cup of tea and a simultaneous translation device on the president’s desk.

As the Press Secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov earlier said that the G20 leaders communicate in a format that is closed to the press, the summit has no duration limits. It is expected that following the results the participants will adopt a joint statement.

The extraordinary G-20 summit was also joined by Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland. Vietnam will represent the ASEAN countries, South Africa – the African Union, the UAE – the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf countries, and Rwanda – the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

International organizations are represented by the UN, WHO, WTO, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Labor Organization, OECD, World Bank Group, Council for Financial Stability, IMF.

The theme of the emergency summit is the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy.

The organizers did not indicate what specific measures the participants in the meeting would discuss, but it could be a “plan of action”, which finance ministers and heads of key international economic organizations agreed to draw up on Monday.

On the eve of the summit, UN Secretary General Antoniu Guterres addressed a letter to the participants. He called on G20 leaders to consider urgent enabling measures to combat the pandemic and its consequences and establish a response mechanism under the auspices of WHO. He also asked to remove restrictions on cross-border trade, so as not to interfere with the delivery of medical equipment and medicines.