Russian President Vladimir Putin has no plans to attend next month’s meeting of G20 leaders in India in person, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The exact format of the Russian leader’s participation has yet to be decided, Peskov told journalists on Friday.
The summit in New Delhi is scheduled for September 9-10 and will be the pinnacle of India’s leadership of the club of leading world economies. New Delhi assumed the rotating presidency from Indonesia last December.
This week, Putin participated via video link in the summit of BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, after declining to travel to South Africa. The host nation had invited the Russian president, although his potential arrival would have placed South Africa in a difficult position due to its commitments to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC has formally accused Putin of abducting Ukrainian children. Moscow has dismissed the allegations as false, and has described the ICC as being politically compromised. The South African government would technically have been obligated to attempt to detain Putin had he set foot on its territory.
Unlike South Africa, India has not signed the Rome Statute, the legal treaty underlining the ICC’s jurisdiction. However, previous G20 events have been marred by the US-led campaign to condemn Russia. Western nations claim that Moscow must be “isolated” diplomatically as punishment for the Ukraine crisis.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov headed Moscow’s delegation at the summit of G20 leaders in Bali last November. Ahead of the meeting, Western media reported that the office of US President Joe Biden was preparing contingency plans to prevent him from ending up in the same room as Putin, should the Russian leader attend in person.