JAKARTA, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend next week’s gathering of G20 leaders in the resort island of Bali, Indonesian and Russian officials said on Thursday. .
Putin will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the officials said.
Jody Mahathir, spokesman for Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Affairs, said the Russian president will participate in one of the summit’s sessions.
As the G20 host, Indonesia has resisted pressure from Western countries and Ukraine to withdraw its invitation to Putin to attend the summit and to expel Russia from the G20 over the Ukraine war, saying it has no right to do so without a consensus among members.
A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Indonesia confirmed that Putin would not be present at the summit, but did not provide further explanation.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been trying to mediate geopolitical frictions between major powers in the G20. This year’s meeting included strikes and threats of a boycott over tensions over the invasion, which Russia called “special operations.”
“(The president) is trying to make sure everyone calms down, which seems to be happening,” Luhut Pandjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs, told local media in Bali.
The well-known President Jokowi said in a recent interview with the Financial Times that Russia was welcomed at the summit and he feared a “very worrying” rise in international tensions could overshadow the summit.
“The G20 is not a political forum. It’s about the economy and development,” he was quoted as saying.
Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has said that if Putin does, he will not attend and is expected to do so virtually.
A number of other world leaders will attend the summit, which will begin on November 1. On the 15th, including US President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Reporting by Ananda Teresia, Gayatri Suroyo and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Writing by Ed Davis; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Lincoln Feast and Gerry Doyle
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