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

Hong Kong

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not personally attend the Group of 20 summit in Bali next week, the Russian embassy in Indonesia told CNN on Thursday.

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

Tomskaya added that Putin was still deciding whether he would actually attend a meeting.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Lohat Bansar Panjitan, also said Putin would not attend. Panjitan, who is helping to organize the summit, said the Russian president would be represented by “high officials”.

Putin’s decision not to attend the G20 summit in person spares him the embarrassment of being confronted or distanced from other world leaders over Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The meeting comes days after the Kremlin announced that Russian forces would withdraw from a large part of Kherson – one of four Ukrainian regions Putin previously said Russia annexed in violation of international law. Planned.

In the lead-up to the event, Western countries and Ukraine have pressured G20 host Indonesia to step up its condemnation of Moscow and withdraw an 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.

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US President Joe Biden, who attended the summit, said in March that Russia should be expelled from the G20, a multilateral organization comprising 19 of the world’s largest economies and the European Union. Senior members of Biden’s administration have walked out of G20 events where Russian delegates were present.

Asked whether he would meet Putin one-on-one in Bali during an exclusive interview last month, Biden said he didn’t see a good reason to do so but that it “depends specifically on Whatever they want to talk about.” Biden said that if Putin wants to talk to imprisoned American basketball star Brittany Griner, he would be willing to talk.

Jakarta has resisted pressure to isolate Russia and has sought to maintain a neutral position. It has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as a guest at the summit.

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Zelensky has said that Ukraine will not participate in the G20 summit if Putin attends. The Ukrainian president is expected to attend the meetings virtually.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who met Putin in Uzbekistan in September, is also expected to attend the summit and meet with 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 with Biden. But on Wednesday, Biden said at a news conference at the White House after the midterm elections that he would hold talks with Xi in Bali.

Biden said he was not planning to make any “fundamental concessions” and would discuss the economy and trade. But he declined to say what his message would be on U.S. military aid to Taiwan if China moves to the autonomous island.

“I’m going to have that conversation with him,” Biden added, noting that he would outline “what each of our red lines are.”

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Their much-anticipated meeting comes as U.S.-China relations have hit their lowest point in decades dating back to the presidency of Donald Trump, as the two countries clash over trade, technology, geopolitics and ideologies. I am increasing my hostility.

In recent months, tensions have reached new heights following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and the Biden administration’s ban on sales of advanced chips and chip-making equipment to China.

Meanwhile, under Xi, China has drawn closer to Russia, united by their deteriorating relations with the US and other Western countries. Weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Xi and Putin declared that their countries share friendship “without limits.” Since then, Beijing has refused to condemn the war in Ukraine or call it an “aggression”.

After the G20, Xi will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, which begins next Friday, according to Thailand’s foreign ministry. Biden is not expected to attend the event, while Putin has yet to confirm his attendance.


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