Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he won’t be present at the upcoming G20 Summit scheduled to take place in Delhi next month. India is the host country for this year’s summit, set to occur on September 9–10 in the capital city.
During a phone call between Putin and Modi, the Russian President conveyed that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would represent him at the summit. Beyond this, the leaders engaged in discussions regarding matters of mutual interest on both regional and global fronts, as per a statement released by India.
A week prior, a spokesperson from the Russian government had cited a “busy schedule” as the reason for Putin’s non-attendance at the summit. India currently holds the G20 presidency, which rotates among member countries annually. Comprising the world’s 19 most affluent nations plus the European Union, the G20 serves as a platform for important global economic discussions.
At the Delhi summit, world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, are expected to address significant topics. Notably, Russia’s incursion into Ukraine is likely to be a subject of discussion.
Putin had recently participated in the Brics summit through a virtual link, given the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) warrant for his arrest related to allegations of war crimes in Ukraine. The summit involved the participation of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
In response to Putin’s absence, India expressed understanding for Russia’s decision and extended gratitude for Russia’s support during India’s G20 presidency. Although Russia’s statement did not explicitly mention Putin’s non-attendance, it emphasised the intention to closely cooperate during Russia’s upcoming BRICS chairmanship, starting January 1 of the next year. The statement also underscored the progressive nature of the Russian-Indian relationship, which is characterised as a strategically privileged partnership.