Putin will not attend G20 summit in person, Russian embassy says

hong kong

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Bali next week in person, the Russian Embassy in Indonesia told CNN on Thursday.

Putin will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said Yulia Tomskaya, chief of protocol at the embassy.

Tomskaya added that Putin is still deciding whether he will attend any of the meetings virtually.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan also said Putin would not attend. Pandjaitan, who is helping coordinate the summit, said the Russian president would be represented by “senior officials”.

Putin’s decision not to attend the G20 summit in person spares him the embarrassment of being confronted – or shunned – by other world leaders over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting will take place just days after the Kremlin announced Russian forces would withdraw of much of Kherson – one of four Ukrainian regions that Putin previously said Russia planned to annex in violation of international law.

Ahead of the event, Western countries and Ukraine pressured G20 host Indonesia to step up its condemnation of Moscow and withdraw its invitation to Putin for the summit. Since the invasion of Ukraine in late February, Western democracies have treated Russia and Putin as pariahs on the world stage.

US President Joe Biden, who is attending the summit, said in march Russia is expected to be kicked out of the G20, a multilateral organization made up of 19 of the world’s major economies and the European Union. Senior Biden administration officials have left G20 events where the Russian delegates are present.

Asked if he would meet Putin one-on-one in Bali during an exclusive interview last month, Biden said he saw no good reason to do so, but that it would “depend specifically what he wanted to talk about”. Biden said if Putin wanted to discuss imprisoned American basketball star Brittney Griner, he would be open to discussion.

Jakarta resisted pressure to isolate Russia and sought to remain neutral. He invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the summit as a guest.

Zelensky said Ukraine would not attend the G20 summit if Putin attended. The Ukrainian president is expected to participate in the meetings virtually.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who met Putin in Uzbekistan in September, is also expected to attend the summit and meet Biden for the first time since the US president took office nearly two years ago.

Beijing has not officially confirmed whether Xi will attend the summit or meet Biden. But on Wednesday, Biden said at a press conference at the White House after the midterm elections that he will meet with Xi in Bali.

Biden said he does not plan to make any “fundamental concessions” and that they will discuss the economy and trade. But he declined to reveal what his message would be on US military support for Taiwan if China moved to the self-governing island.

“I’m going to have this conversation with him,” Biden added, noting that they will lay out “what each of our red lines are.”

Their highly anticipated meeting comes as relations between the United States and China have hit their lowest point in decades in a downward spiral that began under the former presidency of Donald Trump, as the two countries step up their commercial, technological, geopolitical and ideological rivalry.

In recent months, tensions have reached new heights following the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and the Biden administration. ban on selling advanced chips and chipmaking equipment to China.

Meanwhile, under Xi, China has grown closer to Russia, united by its plummeting relations with the United States and other Western countries. Weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi and Putin said their countries shared a “boundless” friendship. Beijing has since refused to condemn the war in Ukraine or called it an “invasion”.

After the G20, Xi will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, which kicks off next Friday, according to the Thai Foreign Ministry. Biden is not expected to attend the event, while Putin has yet to confirm his attendance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *