Russia’s Putin won’t attend upcoming G-20 summit in Bali
According to an Indonesian government official, Vladimir Putin, Russian President, will not attend the Group of 20 summit next week in Indonesia. This is in order to avoid any confrontation with the United States or its allies regarding his war in Ukraine.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, chief of support for G-20 events said that Putin’s decision to not come was the best for everyone.
The two-day summit, which begins next Tuesday, will be attended by Joe Biden, Xi Jinping of China and other world leaders. This summit would be the first time Biden or Putin had been together since February when Russia invaded Ukraine. The event will be hosted by Joko Widodo, the Indonesian President.
After meeting with security officials in Denpasar (the capital of Bali), Pandjaitan stated that “it has been officially advised that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin won’t attend the G-20 summit and will be represented at a high-ranking official”
“Whatever happens to Russia’s decision it is for our collective good and the best interests of all of us,” said Pandjaitan who is also the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investments. He stated earlier that Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, will be leading the Russian delegation.
Pandjaitan didn’t know why Putin was not coming but suggested that “maybe it is because President Putin has been busy at home, which we also have to respect.” Pandjaitan further confirmed that the same reason could be keeping President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine.
Widodo traveled to Moscow and Kyiv earlier in the year in an attempt to convince these leaders to meet in Bali to make peace.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry and Kremlin, confirmed that Lavrov would be Russia’s head of Russia’s delegation to the G-20 summit in place of Putin. He didn’t give any reason.
Putin’s decision to not attend the summit is coming after significant setbacks for Russian forces in Ukraine. Russia’s military announced that it would withdraw from Kherson. This is the Ukrainian regional capital and gateway to the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson and a possible stalemate over fighting over the winter could give both countries an opportunity for peace, according to Army General Mark Milley, chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Milley stated that as many as 40,000 civilians from Ukraine and “well above” 100,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured in the conflict, which is now in its ninth month. Milley said that the same thing could have happened on the Ukrainian side.
The G-20 summit is the largest of three being held in Southeast Asia this week. It was not clear if Lavrov would represent Russia at any of them. Thursday’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit was held in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), followed by the G-20 in Bangkok, Thailand, and finally the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Biden will be attending ASEAN and G-20, while Kamala Harris, Vice President of APEC will be there. Biden will meet with Xi at Bali.
Biden said that he would not meet with Putin if the summit had been attended and that the only conversation he could have with Putin was to make a deal to release the Americans held in Russia.
Officials from the Biden administration said that they were working with their global counterparts to isolate Putin, if he decided to take part either in person or virtual. They discussed the possibility of boycotts and other expressions of condemnation.