Putin will not go to the G20 summit in Bali – Europe

Agencies

Jakarta ●
Thu 10 November 2022

2022-11-10
11:28
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Europe
Bali, Jokowi, Vladimir-Putin, United States, Joe-Biden
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 leaders’ summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali next week, the Moscow Embassy in Indonesia has announced. AFP Thursday.

“I can confirm that (Foreign Minister) Sergei Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation to the G20. President Putin’s program is still being worked out, he could participate virtually,” said Yulia Tomskaya, chief of protocol of the G20. ’embassy.

Putin will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said Jodi Mahardi, spokesman for the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment. Reuters.

The Russian president is expected to attend one of the meetings virtually, he said.

As the host of the G20, Indonesia resisted pressure from Western countries and Ukraine to withdraw its invitation to Putin from the leaders’ summit and kick Russia out of the group because of the war in Ukraine, saying that it does not have the power to do so without consensus among the members.

President Joko Widodo in an interview with the FinancialTimes said Russia was welcome at the summit, which he feared would be overshadowed by a “very worrying” rise in international tensions.

“The G20 is not meant to be a political forum. It’s meant to be about economics and development,” he said.

US President Joe Biden, who has called Putin a “war criminal” and who will attend the summit, has previously said he has no intention of meeting Putin in Bali if he goes.

The decision, which follows months of speculation, comes as Moscow suffers losses in its Ukraine campaign and the Kremlin tries to shield itself from Western condemnation at the November 15-16 summit.

Another source with knowledge of Russia’s planning for the Bali event confirmed that Putin will be replaced by Lavrov. The person said it was unclear whether the Russian leader would attend virtually.

Moscow’s top diplomat left July’s G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali after officials strongly condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Host Indonesia pursues a neutral foreign policy and has rebuffed Western calls to disinvite Russia from the summit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to attend the summit virtually.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Putin would be invited to the summit despite the invasion, sparking a wave of Western criticism. In August, he said Putin had accepted that invitation.

Zelensky had threatened to boycott the summit if Putin attended. Ukraine is not a member of the G20 bloc.

Losses on the battlefield

While US President Joe Biden has avoided contact with his Russian counterpart, France has warned of Putin’s deepening isolation on the world stage.

French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken with Putin in recent months and successfully secured permission for a UN nuclear watchdog mission to visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Russia calls its invasion a special military operation to “denazify” Ukraine and blames subsequent Western sanctions for global economic turmoil caused by the conflict after it sparked food and energy crises.

The Bali meeting comes as Russia suffers setbacks on the battlefield in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russia on Wednesday ordered its troops to withdraw from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. It was the only regional capital controlled by forces from Moscow since the start of the offensive on February 24.