Putin Will Not Attend the G20 Summit

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President Vladimir V. Putin will skip next week’s summit of leaders of the Group of 20 largest economies in Indonesia, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, amid continued setbacks for his army in Ukraine that have weakened the Kremlin’s ability to project power.

The Russian delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, the RIA Novosti state news agency reported, citing a spokesman for the country’s embassy in Indonesia. Mr. Putin might take part in the conference via a video link, the agency reported.

For weeks, the Kremlin had been evasive about Mr. Putin’s plans to attend the summit in person. Analysts said that Moscow was watching to see whether the situation on the front lines in Ukraine could allow Mr. Putin to speak from the position of strength.

The announcement that Mr. Putin will not travel to the summit came a day after the Russian defense minister ordered troops to retreat from the strategically important city of Kherson. The move deals a potentially serious blow to Moscow’s war effort, and to Mr. Putin’s stated objective of controlling southern and eastern Ukraine.

By skipping the summit in Bali, Mr. Putin will miss what would have been his first appearance at a high-profile international event alongside leaders of Western nations since he ordered his troops to invade Ukraine in February. President Biden is scheduled to attend the summit, which had fueled speculation that the two adversaries might cross paths there, although Mr. Biden said last month that he had “no intention” of speaking with Mr. Putin unless it was to discuss freeing Brittney Griner, the American basketball star who is being transferred to a Russian penal colony.

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia had resisted pressure from some Western nations not to invite Mr. Putin, but had sought to use his country’s leadership in the group — which has a rotating presidency — to attempt to play a mediating role in the war.

Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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