Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will represent Putin at summit, official says in media interview.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit of world leaders in Bali next week, an Indonesian government official has said in a media interview.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will represent Putin at the summit, the official told the Reuters news agency on Thursday.
The Russian leader will, however, join one of the summit’s meetings virtually, said Jodi Mahardi, a spokesperson for the Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, according to Reuters.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier this week told the Financial Times he had a “strong impression” the Russian leader would skip the gathering.
The G20 summit will be the first gathering of leaders of the world’s biggest economies since Russia invaded Ukraine and the fallout from the war is expected to loom large during the event.
Indonesia, the host of the summit, has rejected calls by Western countries and Ukraine to exclude Russia, vowing to maintain neutrality and highlighting the potential for cooperation on food and energy security.
Widodo has lamented geopolitical tensions surrounding the summit, which he has said is supposed to focus on economic development and is “not meant to be a political forum”.
At the United Nations General Assembly last month, 16 members of the G20 backed a resolution condemning Moscow’s attempted annexation of four regions of eastern Ukraine. G20 members China, India and South Africa abstained in the vote, while the European Union is not represented at the UN body.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has also been invited to the summit, previously said he would not attend if Putin did.
United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the world leaders expected to travel to the gathering.