Russia’s Vladimir Putin has conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi his inability to attend the G20 Summit to be hosted by Delhi next weekend. Mr Putin will send foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in his place, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The PMO also said the leaders, who interacted during last week’s BRICS Summit in South Africa also spoke about bilateral, regional and global issues.
During the brief call, Prime Minister Modi expressed an understanding of Mr Putin’s decision and conveyed India’s gratitude for Russia’s support as it holds presidency of the G20 for this year.
The two leaders agreed to remain in touch, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Speculation Mr Putin will not travel for the G20 Summit broke last week after the Kremlin’s statement on the Russian leader, who faces global criticism for leading his country into the war with Ukraine.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin; it accuses him of war crimes in Ukraine – something the Kremlin has strongly denied. The ICC’s warrant means Mr Putin risks arrest when travelling abroad and that was one reason why he did not travel to South Africa (for the BRICS Summit) either, preferring instead to address the meeting via a video link.
Earlier today, as speculation mounted, the Russian envoy to India, Denis Alipov, said a decision on who would represent his country at the G20 Summit would be made shortly.
“This is not my prerogative… I would suggest we wait for the official announcement. As regards his (Putin’s) participation in the G20 and what format it will be (and) who is going to represent Russia at the summit… I think such an announcement will be made shortly,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.