Russian President Vladimir Putin is not expected to attend the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo has told the media.
Widodo, the host of the summit, said in an interview with the Financial Times that he has a “strong impression” the Russian leader will skip the event.
In the interview published on Monday, Widodo said Russia was welcome at the summit and expressed concern that the gathering could be overshadowed by a “very worrying” rise in international tensions.
“The G20 is not meant to be a political forum. It’s meant to be about economics and development,” he told the newspaper.
Widodo’s comments come after Putin last month said he would “think about” attending the summit, but Russia would “definitely” be represented at a high level.
The G20 summit will be the first gathering of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is expected to be dominated by the fallout of the war.
Indonesia has rejected calls by Western countries and Ukraine to exclude Russia from the summit, pledging to maintain neutrality and emphasising the potential for cooperation on food and energy security.
At the UN General Assembly last month, 16 members of the G20 voted in favour of a resolution condemning Moscow’s attempted annexation of four regions of eastern Ukraine. Other G20 members China, India and South Africa abstained, while the European Union is not represented at the UN body.
Widodo has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has said he will not attend if Putin is there.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are among the world leaders expected to travel to the summit.