Russian Putin will not attend the upcoming G-20 summit in Bali
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend Group of 20 Summit in Indonesia next week, an Indonesian government official said Thursday, avoiding a possible confrontation with the United States and its allies over its war in Ukraine.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, head of G-20 event support, said Putin’s decision not to come was “best for all of us”.
US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders will attend the two-day summit starting on November 15. The summit would be the first time Biden and Putin have been together since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Indonesian President Joko Widodo hosts the event on the island of Bali.
“It has been officially announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit, and that he will be represented by a high-ranking official, and President Joko Widodo and Putin discussed this in previous telephone conversations,” Panjaitan said after the meeting. security officials in Denpasar, the capital of Bali.
“Whatever happens with Russia’s decision, it is for our common good and the best for all of us,” added Panjaitan, who is also the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Coordinator. He previously said that the Russian delegation will be led by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Panjaitan did not know why Putin decided not to come, but said “maybe it’s because President Putin is busy at home, and we have to respect that as well.” Panjaitan confirmed that the same reasons may be the keeping of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at home.
Widodo traveled to Kiev and Moscow earlier this year in an attempt to come two leaders to sit down in Bali and make peace.
Putin’s decision not to attend the G-20 comes as Russian forces in Ukraine have suffered significant setbacks. The Russian military said it would withdraw from Kherson, which is the only Ukrainian regional capital it has captured and the gateway to the Russian-occupied Crimea peninsula.
Russia’s announced withdrawal from Kherson, along with a potential halt in fighting over the winter, could provide both countries with an opportunity for peace talks, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday.
He said as many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians and “more than” 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war, now in its ninth month. “Same thing probably on the Ukrainian side,” Milley added.
The G-20 is the largest of three summits being held in Southeast Asia this week and next, and it remains unclear whether Lavrov will represent Russia at all of them. The Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began Thursday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, followed by the G-20 and then the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Biden will attend ASEAN and the G-20, while Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to APEC. Biden is expected to meet with Xi in Bali.
Biden ruled out meeting Putin if he attended the summit and said the only conversation he might have with the Russian leader would be to discuss the freedom accord Americans imprisoned in Russia.
Biden administration officials said they coordinated with global counterparts to isolate Putin if he chose to participate either in person or virtually. They discussed boycotts or other displays of condemnation.
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