Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. Since they first began meeting in 2008 under the banner of the G20, the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations have mostly used the forum how Did Putin Make His Money talk about finance, trade and the global economy. Among the more famous examples involved Russia’s decision in the spring of 2014 to seize the territory of its neighbor, Ukraine, and redraw the borders of Europe by force. Europe’s largest economies, as well as the U. Stephen Harper, then the Prime Minister of Canada, told the Russian leader at that year’s G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. You need to get out of Ukraine.
Skip ahead a few years to the current meeting of the G20, which began on Friday in the German city of Hamburg, and it seems hard to imagine that kind of ostracism taking place within the group. The conditions for it have evaporated. Even when it comes to the most fundamental rules of political conduct and international law, the leaders of the G20 have splintered into rival factions. The Brief Newsletter Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. That much was clear when the host of this year’s summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, gave her introductory remarks on Friday morning. Though she touched on the need to empower women and increase aid to Africa, she did not mention free speech, democracy, civil rights or the other ideals to which most of the group’s members have typically aspired. The message did not exactly ring with confidence and fortitude.
But that’s not entirely Merkel’s fault. While she has recently been pegged as the new moral backbone of the Western world, the Chancellor does not have the clout to play that role in a venue like the G20. That would no longer be true today. As Merkel noted in her opening remarks, the best way to achieve consensus among the G20 is by accommodating its members rather than pressuring them. This hinted at a shift within the group toward a kind of moral relativism: You do you, and if anything, we’ll just agree to disagree. At no time was that more clear than during Friday’s much-anticipated meeting between Putin and his new American counterpart, President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after the two-hour meeting, which he attended.
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The Presidents rightly focused on how do we move forward from what may simply be an intractable disagreement at this point. Broader issues of human rights and the rule of law do not appear to have been mentioned at the meeting. And how could they have been? The only institutions that still seemed capable of exerting moral pressure on G20 leaders this year were the media and civil society. The latter at least managed to inconvenience the statesmen in attendance. With a wave of coordinated and often violent demonstrations, protestors paralyzed Hamburg in their effort to denounce what they see as the injustice of unfettered capitalism. The wagging fingers of the media, by contrast, did not do much to trip up the delegates.
And German Chancellor Merkel was in no position this week to question the rules Erdogan plays by. She was too busy scraping together enough common ground to fill the summit’s final declaration. Even before it was published on Saturday, it seemed clear that the only leader facing isolation at the summit would be Trump, especially when it came to the issue of global warming. Indeed, Trump’s decision last month to pull out of the Paris climate accords has put the U. Nicaragua and Syria, the only two countries in the world that did not sign up to the agreement in 2015.
Nicaragua decided not to sign because it said the deal would not do enough to reduce the emission of planet-warming gases. It was a relatively minor tweak, but it pointed to a lesson that did not appear in the G20’s communiqué: No global approach is possible without agreement between the U. Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the countries that did not sign the Paris climate accords. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.
Offers may be subject to change without notice. I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Victor Minin said as we sat watching them. Clustered in seven teams from universities across Russia, they were almost halfway into an eight-hour hacking competition, trying to solve forensic problems that ranged from identifying a computer virus’s origins to finding secret messages embedded in images. Minin was there to oversee the competition, called Capture the Flag, which had been put on by his organization, the Association of Chief Information Security Officers, or ARSIB in Russian. Minin told me after we’d ducked out into the hallway so as not to distract the young contestants. He wouldn’t say in which part of the army he’d done this work.
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Do you think anything has changed? And that I’d say it to a journalist? He said Russian tech firms regularly come to him to find talent. I asked whether government agencies, like the security services that conduct cyberoperations abroad, did the same. When the Capture the Flag competition broke for lunch, Minin and I stepped into the brightness and the wind outside. The university, a complex of stark white buildings, sits atop a steep hill with the city and the Volga River below. Once, the river was blood, and the hill was shrapnel and pillboxes and bones.