Russian President Vladimir Putin will not participate in the G20 leaders’ summit to be held here during September 9-10, the Press Secretary to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov has informed the Russian media. Friday’s announcement is in line with other recent international summits held after the beginning of the Ukraine crisis in February 2022, where Mr. Putin has remained absent. He was earlier expected to travel to Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the latest announcement has cast a shadow on this expected visit as well.
“Putin is not planning a trip to the G20 summit in India, which will be held in September. The main emphasis now is the special military operation [in Ukraine],” Mr. Peskov said in an interaction with the Russian media. President Putin did not attend last year’s G20 summit in Bali and similarly stayed away from the 15th BRICS summit that concluded in Johannesburg on Thursday. In both Bali and Johannesburg, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov led the Russian delegation. Several leaders have already announced that they will travel to India for the G20 summit. The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will be in Delhi during September 7-10. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia has also announced his travel plans for India.
Earlier, the cancellation of the physical summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) under the Indian chairship had pre-empted a possible visit by Mr. Putin to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi steered the SCO summit in virtual mode on July 4 as India decided in May that the SCO summit would not be held in the physical format.
The Russian President, however, visited Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in June 2022. In Tajikistan, he discussed the situation after the 2021 Taliban takeover in Kabul with President Emomali Rahmon and in Turkmenistan he participated in the Caspian Summit with a focus to improve land connectivity from South, West and Central Asia to Russia.
Mr. Putin was expected to travel to Turkey to discuss the Black Sea Grain deal with Mr. Erdogan who has been in constant touch with Kremlin over the situation in Ukraine. The Turkish media had earlier informed that the visit was scheduled at the end of August. However, Russian sources refused to confirm that visit on Friday.
The Ministry of External Affairs has not responded to Mr. Peskov’s remarks so far.