Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky says Indonesia invited him to attend G20 summit

Political pundits believe Ukraine attending G20 meet could lead to showdown with Russia

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 28 April 2022 13:57
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Related: Zelensky accuses Russia of trying to destabilise Moldova following explosion reports

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said he has been invited for the G20 summit in Bali later this year by Indonesia’s Joko Widodo.

“Had talks with President [Joko Widodo]. Thanked for the support of sovereignty and territorial integrity, in particular for a clear position in the UN Food security issues were discussed. Appreciate inviting me to the [G20] summit,” Mr Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The announcement has caused a flutter among political pundits who believe the G20 invite could lead to a showdown between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Mr Zelensky.

Ukraine is not a G20 member but guest countries have been invited to its meetings in the past. Ukraine’s finance minister had attended a meeting of G20 finance officials in Washington just last week.

It is, however, not clear if the Ukrainian president has accepted the Indonesian president’s invitation.

The Kremlin has spoken of Mr Putin’s intention to attend the G20 meeting.

It is pertinent to note that the G20 grouping has condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which have led to a massive humanitarian crisis in the region.

Ukraine and its allies have accused Mr Putin of committing war crimes and have called the war an unprovoked act of aggression.

Reuters reported that Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said the country’s foreign minister had been “in consultations” and reported the results to the Indonesian president. He did not specify who the consultations were with.

World leaders have called for Mr Putin and Russia to be barred from this year’s summit, which will be held in November.

The invitation to Mr Zelensky by the Indonesian president comes after US president Joe Biden said last month that if Indonesia and others could not agree on Russia’s exclusion, then Ukraine should also be present.

“President Biden’s made it clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions,” Janet Yellen, the US treasury secretary, had said earlier this month prior to the meetings involving finance ministers.

“He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G20, and I’ve made clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings if the Russians are there,” she added.

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