In 2022, Putin had skipped the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, given the war in Ukraine and threats from Western leaders to boycott his appearance, and sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his place…reports Asian Lite News
The G20 summit in India is one of the “most important” events for Moscow, said a senior Russian diplomat, indicating the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin could attend the summit, which would be the first time he would come face to face with western leaders since the war in Ukraine began, reported The Hindu.
Answering questions at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) weekly briefing, the MEA spokesperson too said that the government “looks forward to welcoming Putin” at the G20 summit in Delhi on September 9-10.
“As far as the G20 Summit is concerned, we take it as one of the most important events this year, and all preparations are going on. Usually, plans of the President are announced in due course,” said Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin, who is acting Ambassador at present, to The Hindu.
In 2022, Putin had skipped the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, given the war in Ukraine and threats from Western leaders to boycott his appearance, and sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.
While Babushkin said that Russia was “determined to support the Indian Presidency to ensure the success of the G20 Summit”, the diplomat did not hold out hope that Russia and China would agree to the draft statement — which could result in a failure to issue a joint communique, a first in the G20 grouping’s history.
Ahead of next week’s G20 Sherpa meeting in Hampi, where top negotiators led by India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant will try to hammer out a consensus on a joint statement ahead of the Summit in September, Babushkin said that unless “all countries are on board” there can be no consensus. He claimed that Russia and China’s stand against including the Ukraine war in the text, was understood by the other 13 members of the G20.
When asked why Russia and China were holding up the consensus on the Delhi statement, given that they had signed on to similar paragraphs about Ukraine in last year’s G-20 Bali summit statement, the envoy said that that it was the Western States that were “undermining” India’s presidency by “politicising” the G20 that is meant to discuss economic issues.
“The Western choice for upscaling geopolitical tensions makes the so-called ‘Bali consensus’, which was a huge compromise from the Russian Side last year, even more irrelevant,” Babushkin replied. “This understanding is shared by all non-G7 members, although most of them prefer to keep quiet publicly….If [Western countries] want Ukraine to be part of the G20 agenda, then why not mention their infamous Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other campaigns [as well],” he asked.