Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to participate in this year’s Group of 20 Summit, the Kremlin said Monday, setting up a potentially dramatic first meeting between Putin and his critics since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February.
Yuri Asharov, an advisor to Putin, confirmed the plans to Russian state media but said it is still being determined whether Putin will travel to the summit in-person, citing Covid-19 concerns.
The G20 Summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia, over November 15 and16 and will bring together leaders from 19 countries and the European Union.
Indonesian President Joko Wodido said in April he invited Putin to the summit and also extended a special invite to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country isn’t a member of G20.
The G20 comprises 20 of the most influential world economies, including the U.S., Russia, Japan and China. Biden last spoke with Putin during a February 12 phone call, 12 days before Russia invaded its neighbor, and he last met with Putin in person in June, 2021, during a summit in Geneva. Biden called for Russia’s removal from the G20 in March. Zelensky said last month he planned to attend the summit but said he hoped there would be “no occupiers” at the event, a clear nod to his disapproval of the Putin invitation. Sanctions stemming from the invasion have largely isolated Russia from the global economy, though G20 members like Brazil, China India and South Africa have strengthened their trade ties with Russia.
“I think it’s better if he does come to tell him to his face what we think,” the EU’s European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told German broadcaster ZDF on Sunday, according to a translation from Politico. She continued on to say she thinks the summit should go on even if Putin is in attendance, explaining G20 is too important to “be broken by Putin.”
At an ongoing summit in Germany, Group of Seven leaders reportedly neared an agreement to set a limit on the price for which Russia can sell its oil on the international market. The G7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., which are all also members of G20.