Diplomacy: Russian President Vladimir Putin Won’t Go to G20

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DiplomacyRussian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit

It has been months of maintaining ambiguity over the possibility of Vladimir Putin attending the G20 hosted by Indonesia on November 15 and 16.

However, Indonesian President Joko Widodo indicated in August that Vladimir Putin had accepted his invitation.

AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend next week’s G20 summit in Bali, the Russian embassy told AFP on Thursday, ending months of uncertainty over the Kremlin leader’s intentions.

“I can confirm that (Foreign Minister) Sergey Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation to the G20. President Putin’s program is still being implemented and he will almost certainly be able to participate,” said Yulia Tomskaya, head of protocol at the Russian embassy in Indonesia.

The announcement comes after months of uncertainty over the Russian president’s visit to the G20 summit of heads of state and government organized by Indonesia on November 15 and 16. Another source close to the organization of the summit in Jakarta told AFP that it was “highly unlikely” that the Russian president would participate and that his foreign minister would replace him.

Guest Zelensky

Sergei Lavrov pulled out of the G20 diplomatic leaders’ meeting in Bali early in July after facing criticism from many of his peers over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Indonesia has come under heavy pressure from the West to exclude Russia from the summit in response to the war in Ukraine.

But the Southeast Asian country, which favors diplomacy independent of major blocs, argued that the host country should remain neutral. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in August that Vladimir Putin had accepted his invitation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, a country not part of the G20, was invited by Indonesia and is available to speak. Ukraine’s president had warned last week that he would not attend the summit.

Risks of Isolation

US President Joe Biden, who has called the Russian president a “war criminal” on several occasions, has hinted that he has no intention of meeting him at the G20. But French President Emmanuel Macron has long spoken regularly with his Russian counterpart and warned of the dangers of Russian isolation.

Moscow says it was forced to launch an offensive in Ukraine in February and condemns sanctions against it to “degrade” the country, which it blames as the origin of global food and energy crises, which Westerners strongly deny. Russian forces suffered a major setback on Wednesday as they withdrew from Kherson, the regional capital of southern Ukraine, which was the target of a counteroffensive by the Kiev army.

Xi Jinping attended

The G20 summit in Bali will be the most important gathering of leaders of the group of major world economies since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia has confirmed that 17 leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Joe Biden will attend.

In addition to the war in Ukraine, the meeting takes place in a context of several crises, with persistent inflation and concerns about the global economy due to the effects of climate change. Ministerial meetings before the November summit ended without a joint statement due to disagreements over the war in Ukraine.

(AFP)

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