Putin Skips G20 Summit to Focus on Ukraine Military Operation

The Kremlin on Friday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi next month to focus on the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

Putin’s Absence from Multilateral Summits

Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not attended multilateral summits barring the 2022 SCO summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) summit in Armenia, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan’s Astana – all three organizations which are Russia-backed or in which Russia has a key role to play. He also skipped the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia last year and also skipped the BRICS Summit in South Africa, however, Putin skipped the Johannesburg event due to the arrest warrant placed on him by the International Criminal Court in March over the abduction of children from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit China in October for the “One Belt, One Road” forum in China in October. Putin’s reluctance to attend the multilateral summit could also be due to the presence of several western leaders who are opposed to the ongoing 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War. US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and EU Council President Ursula von der Leyen have been critical of Putin’s war on Ukraine and have aggressively worked to sanction him and his associates after the onset of the war.

It is unclear who will represent Putin but Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, has represented Russia on his behalf in the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali and the 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.

Ukraine’s Independence Day

Ukraine on Thursday marked its second Independence Day since the onset of the war and vowed to fight Russia and drive out the Kremlin’s forces as the war entered Day 548. “We remember everyone who gave their lives for freedom and independence, for the free future of Ukraine,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post. He said that an independent Ukraine is “what we are fighting for”.

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