JAKARTA: President Vladimir Putin plans to attend a G20 summit later this year in Indonesia, Moscow’s envoy said Wednesday, dismissing suggestions Russia could be excluded from the group over the war in Ukraine.
A day earlier, the United States indicated it would consult allies over Russia’s membership in international forums to increase pressure over the invasion of Ukraine, which has prompted a refugee crisis in Europe and roiled global markets.
Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva said G20 host Jakarta had already invited Putin to the November heads of state summit in Bali.
“It will depend on many things, including the Covid situation that is getting better. But, so far yes, the intention is [for Putin] to come,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
Vorobieva said there have been attempts by Western countries to expel Russia from world organisations, including the Group of 20 major economies, calling it a “disproportionate” reaction.
Russia, she added, appreciates Indonesia’s “firm position”, after Jakarta repeatedly said the forum was for resolving economic problems.
China on Wednesday also dismissed suggestions Russia could be excluded, saying the country was an “important member” of the G20.
Beijing has provided a level of diplomatic protection as Russia finds itself increasingly isolated, and its economy tied up by Western sanctions.
“The G20 is the main forum for international economic cooperation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters.
“Russia is an important member, and no member has the right to expel another country.”
Indonesia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20, has said it will keep the November forum focused on its initial objectives, implying it was planning to keep Russia’s invasion of Ukraine largely off the agenda.
“Of course, the expulsion of Russia from this kind of forum will not help these economic problems to be resolved. On the contrary, without Russia, it will be difficult,” said Vorobieva.
“We really hope that the Indonesian government will not give in to the horrible pressure that is being applied to not only Indonesia, but so many countries in the world by the West.”
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday said Washington would consult with allies about Russia’s G20 membership.
“We believe that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in international institutions and in the international community,” he told a press briefing.
Russia was previously indefinitely suspended from the smaller Group of Eight major economies in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The grouping was renamed the G7.