G20 Bali Summit: The Russians are Coming

The Jakarta Post, NusaBali.com, and Kompas.com confirm that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to join the G20 Summit in Bali in the last two days of October 2022. That summit is expected to bring 36 heads of state delegation and 7,000 delegates and press.

Lyudmila Vorobieva, Russian Ambassador to Jakarta, was quoted by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, saying that Putin would attend despite a growing chorus of voices calling for the Russian Federation’s ouster from the G20. 

Economic blockades, financial embargoes, and moves to have Russia and Putin declared war criminals were precipitated by Russia’s self-described “special operation” that commenced on 24 February 2022. Widely portrayed internationally as a ruthless and unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation with a democratically-elected government, Russia has bogged down militarily in Ukraine while facing growing political opposition at home.

As the host of the G20 and the President of the Conference for 2020, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s desire to host a successful conference themed on global recovery and cooperation is now in some jeopardy.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, Vorobieva suggested Putin’s final attendance at the Bali Summit will be determined by several factors, including the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, the Russian President’s plan remains to travel to Bali for the G20.

Quoted by Kompas.com, the Russian Ambassador said efforts to oust Russia from the G20 represent an “inappropriate reaction” to current circumstances.

The Russian Ambassador’s comments were made amidst calls by the U.S. Government and several Western powers for Russia to be expelled from G20 membership following its invasion of Ukraine. Vorobieva said that any move to remove Russia from the G20 would represent a retreat for an organization established to respond to the world economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and unite global forces to meet global economic challenges. 

Ambassador Vorobieva added that Russia supports the G20 Presidency of Indonesia and the G20 Summit slogan of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.” He said he hoped Indonesia would not succumb to the anti-Russian pressure exerted against Indonesia and several western countries.

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