JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the Group of 20 summit. In Indonesia next week, an Indonesian government official on Thursday avoided a potential confrontation with the United States and its allies over its war in Ukraine.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, head of support for G-20 events, said Putin’s decision not to attend was “best for all of us.”
US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders are scheduled to attend the two-day summit starting on November 15. It was the first meeting between Biden and Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Indonesian President Joko Widodo will host the event in Bali.
“It has been officially reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit, and a high-ranking official will be represented, and this was discussed by President Joko Widodo and Putin in previous phone conversations,” Pandejaitan said. Security officials in Bali’s capital, Denpasar.
“Whatever happens with Russia’s decision, it will be in our common interest and for the best of all of us,” Pandejaitan, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, added. He said earlier that the Russian delegation will be headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Panditzaitan did not know why Putin did not come, but said “maybe it’s because President Putin is busy at home, and we have to respect that.” Pandezhitan confirmed that there may be similar reasons for keeping Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at home.
Earlier this year Widodo traveled to Kyiv and Moscow in an attempt to get the two leaders to sit down in Bali and make peace.
Putin’s decision not to attend the G20 summit comes as Russia’s forces have suffered significant setbacks in Ukraine. Russia’s military said it was withdrawing from Kherson, the only Ukrainian regional capital it captured and the gateway to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said on Wednesday that Russia’s announcement of a withdrawal from Kherson and a stalemate in the winter war would give the two countries a chance to hold peace talks.
40,000 Ukrainian civilians and 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war, now in its ninth month. “The same thing could happen on the Ukrainian side,” Milly added.
The G-20 is the largest of three summits in Southeast Asia this week and next, and it is unclear whether Lavrov will represent Russia. Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit It 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 the ASEAN and G-20 summits, while Vice President Kamala Harris will visit APEC. Biden is expected to meet Xi in Bali.
Biden ruled out meeting with Putin if he attended the summit, and said the only conversation he might have had with the Russian leader was to discuss a deal to free Americans imprisoned in Russia..
Biden administration officials said they were coordinating with global counterparts to isolate Putin if he decided to participate in person or virtually. They have discussed other scenarios of neglect or condemnation.
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