Russian President Zladimir Putin may not attend next week’s G20 leaders’ meeting in Bali, which will also include leaders from the United States and China, a presidential office staffer said.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend virtually as an observer, having previously said he would not attend if Putin attends the meeting scheduled for November 15-16.
The Bali meeting is expected to be marred by tensions over Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has been heavily criticized by Western countries but not by China, Indonesia and India.
“In accordance with the confirmation from the President that there is a strong impression that President Putin will not be present,” senior expert from the Office of Presidential Personnel (KSP) Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin told True News.
“Russia is still there, but maybe not the president,” he said.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously told the newspaper FinancialTimes that from his telephone conversation with Putin, he had the strong impression that the Russian leader would not be physically present in Bali.
Jokowi continues to try to convince Putin and Zelensky to come to Bali in the hope that there will be a de-escalation of the armed conflict between the two countries and to push for a settlement through the negotiating table, said Siti.
Jokowi also assured that Indonesia is ready to receive delegates from the G20 summit on November 15-16, 2022 in Bali province.
He said 17 heads of state and heads of government had confirmed their attendance in Bali, including US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Jokowi said Putin and Zelensky are still reviewing the situation and conditions in their respective countries.
“A few days ago I also called, spoke on the phone with President Putin and President Zelenskyy. He said he would be there if conditions allowed,” Jokowi said on Tuesday. reviewing the venue for the G20 summit in Bali.
“I think in a normal position, it’s normal for 17-18 people to attend, it’s an abnormal position, the world is very difficult, all countries are very difficult, if the attendance reaches that number, I think it’s is also very good, very good,” the president said.
Indonesia ignored pressure from Western countries and Ukraine not to invite Russia and exclude it from the G20.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the G20 has been torn between Western countries that condemn Moscow and other members like China, Indonesia and India, which continue to have relations with the Kremlin. .
The split was marked by the departure of representatives from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Washington in April, when Russian ministers addressed the forum.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walked out of a session of July’s G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali as other participants condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
KSP’s Siti stressed that the G20 is a forum for economic cooperation and a place to build global solidarity in the face of the crisis.
“However, political problems are certainly inevitable, especially now that the war on both sides is still ongoing,” he continued.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said: True News, “The president will inform in due time who will come.”
News site Ukraine Pravda mentioned that Zelenskyy may be present online at the G20 summit.
“Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of course, will participate in the G20 summit in one form or another. But I can’t tell you more about that,” said Serhii Nikiforov, Zelenskyy’s press secretary.
Zelenskyy previously told local radio that he would refuse to attend the meeting in Bali if Putin was there.
Focus on the economy
Gadjah Mada University international relations observer Riza Noer Arfani said Putin’s absence was actually an opportunity for the G20 to refocus as an economic and development forum and not worry geopolitical issues.
“Without Putin’s presence, Western countries, especially America, will have more freedom, but we cannot be dictated by them,” Riza told reporters. True News.
He suggested that Indonesia, as the holder of the G20 presidency this year, take the opportunity to establish more intensive communication with developing countries such as Brazil, South Africa, China and Turkey.
Agus Haryanto, head of international relations department at Jenderal Soedirman University, Purwokerto, said Indonesia would face the same difficulty if Putin attended in person or not at all.
According to him, if Putin is present in person, the G20 meeting will have difficulty in producing documents or agreements.
Additionally, some heads of state can cancel their attendance if they find out that Putin is present in person.
“The situation if Putin is not present at all will also make it difficult for the G20 to be relevant in mediating conflicts,” he said.
“I think the Indonesian government is trying to ask at least one Russian representative to attend in person or Putin to attend virtually, if possible the consensus of G20 members is agreed,” he continued.
Greenpeace activists intimidated
Meanwhile, Greenpeace said the environmental group’s cycling team had been stopped and intimidated by several groups en route to Bali as part of the climate crisis campaign.
“A friend of ours who joined the group was forced to make a letter of declaration with his signature on a stamp so that he does not continue the trip, or campaign during the G20 summit in Bali,” said said Greenpeace in a writing. statement.
The team faced intimidation, surveillance and vandalism in Semarang and Probolinggo by unidentified people in police uniforms, Greenpeace said.
“We believe this is very detrimental to democratic principles and undermines the freedom of speech guaranteed in this country’s constitution,” Greenpeace said.
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