Russia's Putin will not attend G20 summit in Bali

Russia's Putin will not attend G20 summit in Bali

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an exhibition marking the anniversary of a historical parade in 1941, when Soviet soldiers marched towards the front lines during World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an exhibition marking the anniversary of a historical parade in 1941, when Soviet soldiers marched towards the front lines during World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

JAKARTA: Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend a gathering of leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) nations in Bali next week, an Indonesian government official said.

Mr Putin will be represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is due to join one of the meetings virtually, Jodi Mahardi, a spokesperson for the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment affairs, told Reuters on Thursday.

United States President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he has been told Putin was unlikely to attend the upcoming Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, removing the possibility of an awkward encounter between the two leaders.

“I’m told that President Putin is not likely to be there,” Mr Biden said at a news conference at the White House. 

He also said that he hopes Russia will be more willing to engage in talks about a prisoner swap to free WNBA star Brittney Griner now that the US midterm elections are over.

“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about prisoner exchange,” the US president said.

The US president will be attending the East Asia Summit in Cambodia prior to travelling to the G-20 meeting. Mr Putin’s presence in Indonesia would raise tensions at the meetings, as Mr Biden has called him a war criminal for his invasion of Ukraine and the conduct of his military.

Thailand has yet to confirm whether Mr Putin will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bangkok on Nov 18 and 19. The US will be represented at the Apect meeting by Vice President Kamala Harris as Mr Biden is returning to Washington for a family wedding.


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