Putin is skipping G20

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin Contributor/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the G20 summit in Indonesia next week, avoiding confrontation with the U.S. over his actions in Ukraine, reports The Associated Press.

Indonesian government official Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan shared the information saying it was "the best for all." He said the reason for not attending was unknown but speculated that "it's because President Putin is busy at home," adding that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will also not be attending.

In his place, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend with the potential for Putin to join virtually depending on his program, Politico explains. The G20 is part of three summits taking place in Southeast Asia. President Biden will be attending G20 plus one other summit, with Vice President Kamala Harris attending the third. At this time, it is unknown whether Lavrov will be representing Russia in all three summits.

Biden had mentioned that he would not meet individually with Putin during the summit other than to discuss freeing American prisoners in Russia, like Brittney Griner who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.

The decision comes as Russia retreats from Kherson City, the only Ukrainian regional capital it managed to capture. The retreat signaled a potential stalemate on fighting over the winter, and perhaps an opportunity for the countries to negotiate peace, AP continues.

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