G20 summit: Vladimir Putin may be absent, but he is still on leaders’ minds

JAKARTA CAPITAL: Putin He may be absent from the G20 summit, but he will still be in the spotlight of world leaders grappling with the aftermath of Russia’s president’s wretched war in Ukraine.
Putin chose to avoid potential confrontations with the President Joe Biden and U.S. allies at a summit starting Tuesday in Indonesia’s Bali. After many failures and escalations in Ukraine, a leader passionate about building a strong man image can face even the politely friendly leaders who keep their distance at the G20. .
“If Putin If he goes, he won’t have meetings with Biden and other Western leaders,” said Oksana Antonenko, director of Control Risks in London. war, which they want to see end as soon as possible.”
In appointing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to replace him, the risk for Putin is that Russia will be remembered as an uninvited guest at the party. There were frictions over the organization of the traditional “family photo” at the summit and tensions over the wording of the war in a final joint communique.
According to a person close to the Russian delegation, Lavrov, who did not participate publicly in Bali on Monday, is expected to leave the G20 a day early after Tuesday’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“He’s not Putin but it’s understood that any discussions held with him will be directed back to the Kremlin,” said Emily Ferris, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. .
The Kremlin explained that the president’s decision not to go to Bali was because he needed to deal with urgent matters at home. However, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters at a news conference on Monday that it was “a routine presidential working day” with his only public involvement being a video link discussion about the harvest with one of Russia’s regional governors.
However, the summit comes just days after the humiliating retreat of Russian forces from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, the only regional capital they have captured since Putin’s invasion began. beginning February 24th.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the recaptured city on Monday, hours after declaring the “beginning of the end of the war” in his nightly address to the nation.
Putin has remained silent about the defeat, which came less than seven weeks after he declared Kherson and three other partially occupied Ukraine regions to be Russia’s “forever.” It follows other successes of Ukrainian counter-attacks that have pushed back Russian forces in the east and south of the country since September.
Russia has also repeatedly retreated from efforts to escalate pressure on Ukraine’s allies. It withdrew threats about the possibility of using nuclear weapons after harsh rebukes from the US and its NATO allies as well as warning signals from the Chinese President. Xi Jinping.
Biden and Xi met for about three hours in Bali on Monday in their first face-to-face conversation and agreed to a series of measures aimed at improving relations.
Mr. Xi told Mr. Biden that China was “very concerned” about the situation in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement. The two leaders agreed that they oppose “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” according to a White House statement.
CIA Director Bill Burns warned of the consequences of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons at a meeting with Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin in Ankara on Monday, a White House spokesman said. .
Days after withdrawing, Russia this month continued to enter into an agreement to allow the export of vital Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea security corridor as Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations continue to continue shipping. On Monday, the Kremlin said it was having “constructive” talks with the United Nations on extending the agreement beyond the November 19 deadline.
Sergei Markov, the Kremlin’s political adviser, said on Telegram that Putin risks “humiliating situations” at the G20 if he attends. By skipping the Bali meeting and this month’s ASEAN and APEC summits, the Russian leader chose to “totally stand on the sidelines”, he said.


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