JAKARTA, March 23 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the next G20 summit in Indonesia later this year and received valuable support from Beijing on Wednesday in response to suggestions from some members that Russia could be excluded from the group.
The United States and its Western allies are weighing whether Russia should remain in the Group of Twenty major economies after its invasion of Ukraine, sources involved in the talks told Reuters.
But any decision to exclude Russia would likely be vetoed by other members of the group, citing the possibility of some countries skipping G20 meetings, the sources said. Read more
Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, who currently holds the rotating G20 presidency, said Putin intended to visit the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the G20 summit in November.
“It will depend on many, many things, including the COVID situation, which is improving. So far, his intention is…that he wants to,” Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva said during the a press conference.
Asked about suggestions that Russia could be expelled from the G20, she said it was a forum to discuss economic issues and not a crisis like Ukraine.
“Of course, the expulsion of Russia from this type of forum will not help to solve these economic problems. On the contrary, without Russia it would be difficult to do so.”
China, which has not condemned the Russian invasion and criticized Western sanctions, defended Moscow on Wednesday, calling Russia an “important member” of the G20.
The G20 is a group that needs to find answers to critical issues, such as economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
“No member has the right to withdraw another country as a member. The G20 should implement true multilateralism, strengthen unity and cooperation,” he told a press briefing. .
Indonesia’s foreign ministry declined to comment on calls for Russia’s exclusion from the G20.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 in what he calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” the country. Ukraine and the West say Putin has launched an unprovoked war of aggression. Read more
“BUSY WITH SOMETHING ELSE”
Russia is facing an onslaught of international sanctions led by Western countries aimed at isolating it from the global economy, including excluding it from the SWIFT global banking messaging system and restricting its central bank transactions.
On Tuesday, Poland said it had suggested to US trade officials that it replace Russia in the G20 group and that suggestion had received a “positive response”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said G20 members should decide, but the issue was not a priority at the moment.
“When it comes to the question of how to proceed with the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the G20, it is imperative to discuss this issue with the countries concerned and not to decide individually,” Scholz said. .
“It is quite clear that we are busy with other things than meeting in such meetings. We urgently need a ceasefire.”
Russia’s participation in the G20 will almost certainly be discussed on Thursday, when US President Joe Biden meets his allies in Brussels.
“We think it can’t be like before for Russia in international institutions and in the international community,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
A European Union source separately confirmed talks on Russia’s status at G20 meetings.
“Indonesia has been made very clear that Russia’s presence at upcoming ministerial meetings will be very problematic for European countries,” the source said, adding that there was, however, no clear process to exclude a country.
Indonesian central bank deputy governor Dody Budi Waluyo said on Monday that Jakarta’s stance was one of neutrality and that it would use its G20 leadership to try to resolve the issues, but Russia had ” firmly committed” to attending and the other members could not forbid it. In doing so.
Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal and Alex Alper in Washington, Marek Strzeleck in Warsaw, Jan Strupczewski in Brussels, Emma Farge in Geneva, Gayatri Suroyo in Jakarta, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Yew Lun Tian in Beijing Writing by Ed Davies and Balazs Koranyi Editing by Robert Birsel and Mark Heinrich
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