Source: The National
Friday, November 11, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Indonesia next week, instead sending his Foreign Minister to represent Moscow.
Sergey Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation, an Indonesian official said on Thursday, as Mr Putin avoids possible political confrontation over his continuing war in Ukraine.
“The Indonesian government respects the decision of the Russian government, which President Putin himself previously explained to President Joko Widodo in a very friendly telephone conversation,” said G20 support chief Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
It would have been the first time Mr Putin and US Joe President Biden attended the same event since Russia invaded its neighbour in February.
Mr Biden ruled out meeting Mr Putin, who he has called a "war criminal", if he attended the two-day summit, which will begin on November 15.
Mr Putin could still take part remotely, an official from the embassy in Indonesia told AFP.
"President Putin's programme is still being worked out; he could participate virtually," said Yulia Tomskaya, the embassy's chief of protocol.
The US and EU have increased sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine. The conflict has displaced millions, including nearly seven million still in Ukraine.
Russian troops have been ordered to leave the key city of Kherson in Moscow's first major retreat of the war.
Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia declared it had annexed in September, shortly after being forced to withdraw from territory in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.
It was the first regional capital to fall after the February 24 invasion.