Putin will not attend the G20 summit: media

TEHRAN, Nov. 09 (MNA) – Western media are reporting that Russian President will not attend the upcoming G20 summit.

Instead, Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the outlet claims.

The Kremlin also risked Putin being shunned by European leaders at the Nov. 15-16 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, "Hindustan Times" reported.

According to the Indian newspaper, Vladimir Putin won’t attend the Group of 20 summit next week, people familiar with the planning said, as the Kremlin seeks to protect the president from potential high-level tensions over his invasion of Ukraine.

Ending months of suspense, Putin’s decision avoids potential confrontations with other world leaders, including US president Joe Biden who has labeled the Russian president a “war criminal.” The Kremlin also risked Putin being shunned by European leaders at the Nov. 15-16 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Russia will send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Putin’s place, one of the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that aren’t yet public. Spokespeople from the Foreign Ministry and Kremlin didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden in March said Russia should be ejected from the G-20 in retaliation for the invasion that has triggered Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II and raised fears of nuclear escalation. Indonesian President Joko Widodo refused to withdraw the invitation to Putin as his country, which holds the G-20’s rotating presidency, sought to maintain a neutral position. Instead, Widodo also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the summit as a guest.

Zelenskiy spoke with Widodo by phone Nov. 3 about preparations for the G-20 and later told reporters that he won’t take part in the summit if Putin attends. Widodo told Bloomberg in August that Putin had confirmed to him that he would participate, though the Kremlin never stated publicly whether the Russian leader would travel to Bali or take part by video link.

Russian officials hoped the summit would allow Putin to have informal contact with US and European counterparts but it became clear this wasn’t going to happen, according to Andrey Kortunov, head of the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “The goal is for Putin and Biden to meet but Biden doesn’t appear to be ready for this,” he said.

The US president has said he wouldn’t meet Putin in Bali to discuss the war in Ukraine and was only willing to hold talks about freeing jailed American citizens in Russia including WNBA star Brittney Griner as part of a possible prisoner exchange. Still, it would have been impossible to rule out a chance encounter if the two leaders crossed each other’s path at the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at Nov. 4 talks that he opposed the use of nuclear force in Europe.

KI/PR

News Code 193479

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