‘Putin’s absence in G20 is consequence of tensions with G7’


The G20 Summit under India’s Presidency is scheduled to take place at the state-of-the-art Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on September 9-10…reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s absence from the G20 Summit, to be held under India’s Presidency, on September 9-10, is basically a consequence of Moscow’s current tensions with the G7, Former Deputy National Advisor and Ambassador Pankaj Saran said on Thursday.

Speaking to ANI, Saran said he believes President Putin’s absence at the G20 Summit has nothing to do with his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or India.

The G20 Summit under India’s Presidency is scheduled to take place at the state-of-the-art Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on September 9-10.

In response to a question regarding the impact of the absence of four Heads of State in the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Pankaj Saran said, “You see, ideally you would like everyone to attend, but sometimes circumstances do not permit every leader to attend. And sometimes you may not get 100 per cent attendance, which is all right.”

Notably, the G7 had suspended Russia’s membership of the group due to Moscow’s “annexation” of Crimea in 2014. In the wake of this, the planned G8 summit that was to be held in June 2014 in the Russian city of Sochi was also cancelled.

The Russian Foreign Minister on August 31 had informed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend the G20 Summit in India next week after President Vladimir Putin announced his plan to skip the leaders’ Summit.

Saran further said, “I know, for example, there is some concern here about the absence of Russia and China. But, on the case of Russia, I just want to clarify that I feel my personal opinion is that the Russian decision of the President not to come has nothing to do with their relationship with our Prime Minister or with India. It is basically a consequence of their current tensions with the G7. And that is why he is not coming.”

Earlier in August, PM Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which the two leaders reviewed progress in bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual concern.

During the telephonic conversation, Putin conveyed his inability to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi and informed that Russia would be represented by the country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a Prime Minister’s Office release said. Expressing an understanding of Russia’s decision, PM Modi thanked Putin for Russia’s consistent support to all initiatives under India’s G20 Presidency, it said.

According to the statement, released by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov is expected to attend two plenary sessions: on September 9, there will be the One Planet session on sustainable development and promoting steady economic growth, and on September 10, the Foreign Minister will speak at the One Future session highlighting key matters of promoting democracy and strengthening the role of the countries belonging to the global majority within global economic governance institutions, as well as achieving digital transformation.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar had stated that the absence of President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping will not cast a shadow on the G20 Summit.

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