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NEW DELHI: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed diplomatic victory on Sunday, declaring a G20 summit in India a “success” after the bloc shied away from direct criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We were able to prevent the West’s attempts to ‘Ukrainize’ the summit agenda,” Lavrov said as the two-day meeting of leaders closed.

“The text doesn’t mention Russia at all” Russia’s veteran diplomat said.

“The Indian presidency has really managed to coalesce G20 members from the global south,” he added, suggesting that Russian allies like Brazil, South Africa, India and China had made their voices heard.

G20 leaders on Saturday papered over deep divisions over Russia’s 18-month-old invasion of its neighbour – alluding to the problems caused by the war, but not blaming Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was forced to avoid the summit, fearing political opprobrium and the risk of arrest on war crimes charges.

Kyiv’s foreign ministry denounced the G20 statement as “nothing to be proud of”, but a top White House official said Washington was happy with the outcome.

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