Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin will not personally attend the G20 summit to be held in New Delhi next month, the Kremlin announced on Friday, saying he has a “busy schedule” and the main focus is still the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The G20 world leaders’ summit is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on September 9 and 10. The summit is expected to be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in India. India assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2022, from Indonesia.
“No, the president has no such plans,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
He said the format of Putin’s participation would be determined later.
Russia launched a “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
India has been pressing for the resolution of the Ukraine conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
Peskov recalled that Putin participated in this week’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg remotely. He was represented at the summit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“Well, and after all, now he really has a busy schedule. And, of course, the main focus is still the special military operation. So direct travel is not on the agenda right now,” the Kremlin spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Tass news agency.
President Putin decided against attending the first in-person BRICS summit after Covid-19 as the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March over an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
South Africa is an ICC signatory and was expected to help in Putin’s arrest if he was present in the country.