An Indonesian leader told the newspaper he was worried that international tensions could overshadow the economic summit.
His Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo told the media that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not expected to attend the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Bali.
Widodo, the summit host, said in an interview with the Financial Times that he had a “strong impression” that the Russian leader would skip the event.
In the interview published on Monday, Widodo said Russia was welcome at the summit and expressed concern that the meeting could be overshadowed by a “very worrying” escalation in international tensions.
The G-20 is not meant to be a political forum. “It’s supposed to be about the economy and development,” he told the newspaper.
Widodo’s comments come after Putin said last month that he would “consider” attending the summit, but that Russia would “certainly” be represented at a high level.
The G20 summit will be the first gathering of leaders of the world’s largest economies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is expected to be dominated by the fallout from the war.
Indonesia has rejected calls by Western countries and Ukraine to exclude Russia from the summit, pledging to maintain neutrality and stress the potential for cooperation in food and energy security.
At the United Nations General Assembly last month, 16 members of the Group of Twenty voted in favor of a resolution condemning Moscow’s attempt to annex four regions in eastern Ukraine. Other G20 members China, India and South Africa abstained, while the European Union is not represented at the United Nations.
Widodo also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said he would not attend if Putin was there.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to travel to the summit.
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