Putin Won’t Attend G20 Summit in Bali: The Indonesian city of Jakarta An Indonesian government official announced on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be attending the Group of 20 summits in Indonesia the following week in order to avoid a potential conflict with the United States and its allies over his involvement in the war in Ukraine.
Putin’s choice to stay out, according to Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, head of support for G-20 events, was “the best for all of us.” The two-day meeting, which begins on November 15, will be attended by other world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice President Joe Biden.
For the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Biden and Putin would have met at a gathering during the summit. On the island of Bali, the gathering is being hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
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Pandjaitan made the announcement after meeting with security officials in Denpasar, the capital of Bali. “It has been officially informed that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit and will be represented by a high-level official, and this has been discussed by President Joko Widodo and Putin in previous telephone conversations,” Pandjaitan said.
Pandjaitan, who is also the coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investment, continued, “Whatever happens with Russia’s choice, it is for our common interest and the best for all of us.” He previously stated that the group from Russia will be led by Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia.
Putin chose not to attend, but Pandjaitan speculated that it might be because he was busy at home, which is something we must also respect. Pandjaitan added that the same factors could also be keeping Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, at home. Earlier this year, Widodo visited Moscow and Kiev in an effort to persuade the two leaders to hold peace talks in Bali.
Putin made the decision to skip the G-20 at a time when its forces in Ukraine had suffered serious blows. The sole regional capital in Ukraine that Russia has taken control of and a gateway to the country’s occupied Crimean Peninsula, Kherson, will be abandoned, according to Russian military statements.
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According to Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, both countries may have the opportunity to discuss a peace agreement as a result of Russia’s recently announced withdrawal from Kherson and a prospective winter truce in the war.
He said that the war, which is now in its ninth month, has resulted in up to 40,000 civilian deaths in Ukraine and “far over” 100,000 casualties among Russian troops. The same likely applies on the Ukrainian side, Milley continued.
It is yet unknown if Lavrov will represent Russia at all three summits taking place in Southeast Asia this week and next; the G-20 being the largest. Thursday saw the start of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The G-20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit then took place in Bangkok, Thailand.
Vice President Kamala Harris will go to APEC while Biden will be in attendance at ASEAN and the G-20. In Bali, Biden and Xi are anticipated to meet. If he had attended the summit, Biden had stated he would not meet with Putin and that the only talk he might have had with the Russian president would be to discuss an agreement to release American prisoners there.
Officials from the Biden administration claimed they had been working with international partners to isolate Putin if he had chosen to attend either physically or online. They have talked of boycotts and other forms of opposition.