Russia says Putin plans to attend G-20 despite talk of exclusion
President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the Group of 20 summit hosted by Indonesia in the fourth quarter, Russia’s envoy to the Southeast Asian country said, brushing off talk of excluding him due to the war in Ukraine.
Russia appreciates Indonesia not bowing to pressure to shift the G-20’s focus away from economic recovery, Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva said at a briefing Wednesday in Jakarta.
Her announcement came a day after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for a discussion over whether Russia should be excluded from the grouping of major economies, as the West strives to turn Putin and his government into international pariahs in response to his invasion of Ukraine. However, China signaled it stands by Russia’s continued G-20 membership, saying the bloc needs to work together on issues from global economic growth to recovery from the pandemic.
“Russia is an important member” of the grouping, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday at a regular press briefing in Beijing. “No member has the right to remove other countries.”
Poland floated the idea of replacing Russia in the G-20 during meetings last week with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, according to Development Minister Piotr Nowak.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Wednesday that the U.S. was behind pressure to exclude Russia from the organization.
“The G-20 is a multilateral format, there are different points of view,” Peskov said on a conference call with reporters. “It is clear that the Americans will continue to put pressure on different countries, but, as we see, a number of states still prefer to adhere to their independent, sovereign point of view.”
Russia was suspended from the Group of Eight industrial countries in 2014 after Putin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and withdrew from the inter-governmental organization permanently in 2017. The G-20 is a larger grouping that includes many developing economies.