Indonesian leader says Putin undecided on invitation to G20 summit: report

Indonesian leader says Putin undecided on invitation to G20 summit: report


Russian President Vladimir Putin has still not decided whether to attend the Group of 20 summit this month as war rages in Ukraine, the leader of host country Indonesia said in an interview on Friday.

The gathering of the world’s leading economies was overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, with both sides continuing to fight on the ground with little change.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Putin told him in a phone call on Wednesday that his participation in the two-day meeting on the resort island of Bali was up in the air.

“He (Putin) wanted to participate but can’t decide at the moment,” Widodo told local newspaper Kompas in an interview published on Friday.

He said in August that Putin had accepted Jakarta’s invitation to the November 15-16 summit, despite Western pressure to bar Moscow from the meeting and given the Kremlin’s growing international isolation.

But the warring sides remain locked in a protracted conflict that has left 4.5 million Ukrainians without power during the winter cold, according to Kyiv.

Indonesia is pursuing a neutral foreign policy in the Ukraine war and has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the summit, which he is expected to attend virtually. Ukraine is not a member of the G20 group.

Zelenskyy has threatened to boycott the summit if Putin attends.

“If the leader of the Russian Federation took part in it, Ukraine would not take part,” he told a news conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

In Wednesday’s call, Putin and Widodo also discussed a grain deal, which Russia returned to this week, that would allow Ukrainian exports to pass through the Black Sea, the Indonesian leader said.

The grain deal extension date negotiated by the UN and Turkey is November 19, three days after the conclusion of the G20 summit.

Moscow has said it has yet to decide whether to agree to an extension of the deal.

Zelensky and Widodo held phone talks on Thursday about preparations for the G20 summit and the grain deal, the Ukrainian leader said in a tweet.

Indonesia has called for a peaceful solution to Russia’s months-long invasion of Ukraine, with Widodo becoming the first Asian leader to visit both Kyiv and Moscow since war broke out in February.

The Indonesian President said 17 G20 leaders have confirmed their attendance at the summit, including US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping.

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