JAKARTA: Vladimir Putin might not be present at the Group of 20 summit, but he will still be the focus of world leaders who are dealing with the aftermath of the Russian president’s fumbling war in Ukraine.
Putin chose to avoid possible confrontations with President Joe Biden, and other US allies, at Tuesday’s summit in Bali, Indonesia. Putin, who is known for his strong-man image and has had to endure repeated setbacks after Ukraine’s defeats, may also have had with the G20’s friendly leaders distancing themselves.
“If Putin had gone he wouldn’t have got meetings with Biden and other Western leaders,” Oksana Antonenko is a London-based director at Control Risks. “Equally, any meetings with the leaders of China and India would just have highlighted their lukewarm position on the war, which they want to see end as soon as possible.”
Putin risks being remembered as the unwelcome guest of the party, having sent Sergei Lavrov foreign minister. There have been disagreements about the organization of the traditional “family photo” At the summit, tensions over the final communique on war and the wording of it were high.
According to someone close to the Russian delegation Lavrov was not present in Bali Monday and is expected to leave G20 today after meeting Tuesday with Wang Yi, his Chinese counterpart, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“He’s not Putin but it’s understood that whatever discussions are held with him will be relayed back to the Kremlin,” Emily Ferris is a research fellow at The Royal United Services Institute, London.
According to the Kremlin, the president’s decision to not travel to Bali was explained by his need to address urgent domestic questions. Dmitry Peskov (Putin’s spokesman) said Monday that it was “a routine workday for the president” His only public engagement was a videolink discussion about harvest with one Russia’s regional governors.
The summit still takes place just days after Russia’s humiliating retreat from Ukraine’s south city of Kherson. It was their only regional capital since Putin’s February 24 invasion.
Hours after declaring, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskyy visited the captured city Monday. “the beginning of the end of the war” in his nightly address.
Putin has been silent about the defeat. It came seven weeks after Putin declared Kherson and three others partially occupied Ukrainian areas Russian. “forever.” This follows other victories by Ukrainian counteroffensives which have pushed back Russian forces in the east and southern parts of the country since September.
Russia has also repeatedly stopped trying to put pressure on Ukraine’s allies. After sharp rebukes by the US and its NATO allies, as well as warning signals sent by Xi Jinping, Russia has backed off threats of using nuclear weapons.
Biden and Xi met in Bali for three hours on Monday, their first face to face talks. They agreed to a number of steps that would improve relations.
Biden was told by Xi, that China is “highly concerned” In a statement, Beijing’s foreign ministry said that it was concerned about the situation in Ukraine. They agreed to disagree “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” According to a White House Statement.
CIA director Bill Burns warned Russia of the consequences of using nuclear weapons during a meeting with Sergei Naryshkin (Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director) in Ankara, a White House spokesperson stated.
Russia, days after its withdrawal, this month re-engaged in a deal that would allow vital exports to Ukraine of grain through a Black Sea security channel. Meanwhile, the United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine continued shipping grain anyway. Monday was Monday’s announcement by the Kremlin that it was having “constructive” Talks with the UN to extend the agreement beyond the November 19 deadline.
Putin took a chance “humiliating situations” Sergei Markov, a Kremlin political consultant, stated that he would attend the G20 meeting if he could. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has decided to stay, despite not attending the Bali summit and the ASEAN/APEC summits. “completely on the sidelines,” He stated.