Germany To Invite India, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa To G7 Summit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invited leaders from India, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa to the G7 summit next month. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation as a special guest is a clear indication of Germany’s intent to exclude Russia from international conversations and begin to potentially form a global alliance against President Vladimir Putin. That Scholz invited Indonesian President Joko Widodo may also have significant implications for global relations with Russia; as president of the G20, Indonesia will host the summit later this year, and Widodo has expressed a desire for both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to attend, sparking controversy among many Western attendees. 

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has emphasized the importance of unity against Russian aggression: as she said in a statement earlier this week, “when a member of the G20 wants to destroy another country in this world with bombs, we cannot simply pretend that nothing happened and return to political business as usual… But, to exclude Russia from the G20, we need all of the other G19 countries on board.” In the meantime, Chancellor Scholz has expressed optimism that the upcoming summit will bolster German-Indian relations. After speaking with Modi earlier this week on green development, Scholz said, “we are ready to continue close cooperation on global issues with India, and — this is the key — to expand it.”

In his efforts to unite democratic governments with respect for international institutions, Scholz made a good strategic choice in extending a summit invitation to Modi — particularly considering India’s growing population and democratic traditions the country could be a key ally in global efforts against Russia. However, Scholz would also be right to exercise caution in forming this alliance, as Modi has yet to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and India has cooperated with Russia recently on energy and military supply. 

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Scholz has made significant efforts to isolate Russia and strengthen connections with other democratic countries that may ally against Putin. For example, rather than traveling to China for his first trip to Asia as is traditional, he chose to visit Japan instead. The G7 summit invitations Scholz extended to these four countries are a continuation of this democratic alliance policy. 

Germany and its G7 allies, the U.S., U.K., Japan, France, Canada, and Italy, have imposed significant sanctions on Russia, but the group must continue to mobilize action against Russia from other countries as well. Engaging India on the side of this alliance could be a key step in swaying global action against Russia. Further, negotiating with Indonesia to remove Russia from the G20 summit would be an important opportunity for Germany to advocate for continued G19 cooperation against Russian aggression as Foreign Minister Baerbock encouraged.