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Putin plans to attend G20 summit in Indonesia – Envoy

By Reuters and Patrick Vidija | Mar 23rd 2022 | 3 min read

Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva talks to journalists during a news conference at the Russian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 23, 2022. [Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to attend a G20 summit being hosted by Indonesia later this year, Russia's ambassador in Jakarta said on Wednesday, following calls by some members for the country to be barred from the group.

"Not only G20, but many organisations are also trying to expel Russia....the reaction of the West is absolutely disproportional," ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva told a news conference on Wednesday.

The United States and its Western allies are assessing whether Russia should remain within the Group of Twenty (G20) grouping of major economies following its invasion of Ukraine, sources involved in the discussions told Reuters.

In 2014, President Putin left the G20 summit in Australia early than expected as then U.S. President Barack Obama accused Russia of invading Ukraine.

Putin had threatened to walk out after he faced scorn and scepticism from Western leaders over Ukraine.

The U.S and Britain warned of a possible "frozen conflict" in Europe. Several Western nations warned Russia of further sanctions if it did not withdraw troops and weapons from Ukraine.

The decision to walk out of the summit threatened to upend the annual summit's focus on revamping the global economy and fixing sores such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

"The programme of the second day is changing, it's being cut short," a source in the Russian delegation told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Governor of the Novgorod Region Andrei Nikitin during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 22, 2022. [Reuters]

According to the source, Putin would attend summit sessions but skip an official lunch and address reporters earlier than planned before leaving and need for sleep due to long flight.

Before leaving the G20 Summit, Putin said a solution to the Ukraine crisis was possible but did not elaborate.

"Today the situation (in Ukraine) in my view has good chances for resolution, no matter how strange it may sound," Putin said.

Putin then denied any involvement in the conflict in Ukraine that had killed more than 4,000 people.

But then British Prime Minister David Cameron said if Putin would continue to destabilize Ukraine, there would be sanctions.

"I think President Putin can see he is at a crossroads if he continues to destabilise Ukraine there will be further sanctions, further measures,” he said adding, “There is a cost to sanctions, but there would be a far greater cost in allowing a frozen conflict on the continent of Europe to be created and maintained."

His sentiments were echoed by President Obama who said Russia's isolation was unavoidable.

"We would prefer a Russia that is fully integrated with the global economy," he told a news conference.

"But we are also very firm on the need to uphold core international principles....you don't invade other countries or finance proxies and support them in ways that break up a country that has mechanisms for democratic elections,” said Obama.

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