Awkward: Both Zelensky & Putin Invited To Attend G-20 Summit In Indonesia

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Apr 30, 2022 - 03:00 PM

Though it's perhaps early to speculate too much, it's looking like the Group of 20 summit scheduled to take place in November looks to get very awkward very fast. First, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy announced Wednesday that he's been formally invited to the G-20 which will be hosted in Bali, Indonesia.

“Had talks with [Indonesian President Joko Widodo]. Thanked for the support of [Ukrainian] sovereignty and territorial integrity, in particular for a clear position in the UN. Food security issues were discussed. Appreciate inviting me to the G-20 summit,” Zelensky tweeted earlier in the week. President Widodo is currently serving as the G-20 chairman.

And on Friday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin too has been confirmed to have been invited: "Putin confirmed in a phone call with Widodo he would participate in the summit, due to take place on Bali island, the Indonesian president said in a live-streamed address" - given also Russia is a longstanding G-20 member.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean the Russian leader will participate in person, which isn't known at this point, as Bloomberg describes of fresh Kremlin statements:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to say whether Putin would attend in person. While Russia is preparing for the summit in Bali, it’s “premature” to discuss details of its participation, he told reporters on a conference call Friday, responding to questions about the possibility of a meeting with Zelenskiy there.

President Joe Biden has previously called for Russia's formal removal from the G-20, following on the precedent of its eviction from the Group of Eight in March 2014, quickly on the heels of absorbing Crimea after a referendum there.

And some European Union members have threatened to boycott the summit should President Putin be there. Likely these calls for boycott among Western capitals will only grow now that host country Indonesia has made its intentions clear.

In a seeming effort to preempt the severe criticism that's already arisen, President Widodo said, "Indonesia wants to unite the G-20. Don’t let there be division." Indirectly referencing the war in Ukraine, he added: "Peace and stability are the keys to the global economy’s recovery and development."

Earlier in the year Russia's ambassador to Indonesia signaled that, yes, President Putin would attend in person, but it remains unclear if the ongoing military invasion of Ukraine might have hindered these prior plans. 

Of note concerning the possible seriously awkward spectacle of both Putin and Zelensky's personal attendance among other world leaders at the major global economic summit is that while the US and Russia are G-20 members, obviously Ukraine is not a member.