Moscow: In a significant development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided not to deliver a video address at the upcoming G20 summit scheduled to take place in New Delhi this weekend. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed this decision, indicating that all diplomatic efforts would be spearheaded by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is leading Russia’s delegation.
This decision comes at a time when tensions between Moscow and the Western world continue to simmer, primarily due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The strains from last year’s summit in Bali, exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis, still linger in diplomatic circles.
Responding to queries about the possibility of a separate video address by Putin, Peskov unequivocally stated, “No, there are no plans for such an address.”
It is noteworthy that Putin had previously made a video-link address at the August BRICS meeting held in Johannesburg. This move followed a contentious dispute regarding whether South Africa would be obliged to apprehend President Putin due to an International Criminal Court warrant.
In his previous video-link address, President Putin had laid blame on Western powers for the Ukraine conflict, further intensifying the already strained relations between Russia and the West.
Putin’s continued presence at international summits has raised objections from some Western nations, who perceive him as a pariah due to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Expectations for significant agreements during the two-day G20 meeting in New Delhi remain tempered, given deep-seated disagreements on issues such as the Ukraine crisis, the transition away from fossil fuels, and debt restructuring. Notably, China’s President Xi Jinping, representing the world’s second-largest economy, will be absent from the meeting, a move that underscores heightened tensions with both the United States and India, with whom China shares a disputed border.
As contentious international issues loom large, the outcome of the G20 summit remains uncertain, and the diplomatic landscape continues to evolve.