Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi were reportedly engaged in a telephonic conversation. The two leaders assessed progress on several issues of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest which also included the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg that recently concluded .
Valdimir Putin conveyed about him not being able to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi on 9-10 September 2023 and said that Mr. Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, H.E would represent Russia. PM Modi expressed gratitude to President Putin for Russia’s consistent support to all initiatives under India’s G20 Presidency and expressed an understanding for Russia’s decision.
The two leaders would remain in touch.
The call was held between the two leaders after last week, reports indicated that the President will not be attending the G20 summit in New Delhi in September. On Friday, the Kremlin made an announcement, saying he has a “busy schedule” and the main focus is still the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The G20 world leaders’ summit is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10 at New Delhi. The summit is said to be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in India.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin’s participation would be determined later.
Peskov recalled that Putin attended the BRICS summit in Johannesburg this week. He was represented by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister at the summit.
The Kremlin spokesman said,”Well, and after all, now he really has a busy schedule. And, of course, the main focus is still the special military operation. So direct travel is not on the agenda right now,”
Last year, in November, the Russian president did not attend the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
President Putin decided not to attend the first in-person post-Covid-19 BRICS summit after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March over an alleged plan to send Ukrainian children to Russia.
South Africa was expected to help in Putin’s arrest as it is an ICC signatory, if he was present in the country.