JAKARTA – Russian President Vladimir Putin says the host country has yet to decide whether to attend the G20 (G-20) summit in November as war rages in Ukraine. The Indonesian president said in an interview on Friday.
The meeting of the world’s major economies has been overshadowed by Russia’s aggression against its neighbor, with both sides continuing their battle on the ground without much change.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Putin said in a phone call on Wednesday that his attendance at the two-day rally on the resort island of Bali was still up in the air.
“He (Putin) wanted to attend, but at the moment it has not been decided,” Widodo told local newspaper The Compass in an interview published Friday.
He said in August that Mr Putin had accepted Jakarta’s invitation to the summit, which was held on November 15-16. The Kremlin faced growing international isolation, despite pressure from the West to keep Moscow out of the conference.
But the militants remained trapped in the protracted conflict, with 4.5 million Ukrainians without power during the cold winter, according to Kyiv.
Indonesia, which has pursued a neutral foreign policy regarding the Ukrainian war, has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a summit, which he is expected to attend online. Ukraine is not a member of her G-20 group.
Zelensky has threatened to boycott the summit if Putin attends.
“If the leader of the Russian Federation participates in it, Ukraine will not participate,” he told reporters in Kyiv on Thursday.
In Wednesday’s call, Putin and Widodo also discussed grain trade, which Russia reinstated this week, allowing Ukrainian exports to pass through the Black Sea.
The date for the renewal of the grain deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey is November 19, three days after the G-20 summit ended.
The Russian government said it had not yet decided whether to agree to extend the pact.
In a tweet, Zelensky said he had a phone call with Widodo on Thursday about preparations for the G20 summit and the grain trade.
Widodo became the first Asian leader to visit both Kyiv and Moscow since the outbreak of war in February to seek a peaceful resolution to Russia’s months-long aggression against Ukraine.
The Indonesian president said 17 G-20 leaders, including US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping, confirmed their attendance at the summit. AFPMore
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/putin-still-undecided-on-g-20-summit-invite-says-indonesia-s-jokowi Indonesia’s Jokowi says Putin has not yet decided on an invitation to the G-20 summit