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Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who holds this year’s G-20 presidency, has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the group’s summit in Bali later this year, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to attend.

The president of Indonesia confirmed he had invited Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky to the November G20 leader summit, though details on their participation remain to be determined.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L), Indonesian President Joko Widodo (M), Russian President Vladimir Putin

DCO Global News
Published on April 30, 2022
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

However, Zelenskyy’s invitation may not be enough to secure the attendance of U.S. and other Western leaders keen on isolating Moscow.

The leader of host nation Indonesia said on Friday, April 29. “I have invited President Zelensky to attend the G20 summit,” said President Joko Widodo, suggesting a compromise had been reached following pressure from U.S. President Joe Biden and others to allow Ukraine’s participation to strike a balance.

Indonesia, which holds the G20 presidency this year, has been under heavy pressure from the West, led by the United States, to exclude Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, but Jakarta has argued it must remain “impartial”.

Mr. Putin confirmed in a phone call that he will attend the summit, to take place on Bali island, the Indonesian leader said in a livestreamed address. Mr. Widodo met with the Russian president on Thursday, saying, “Putin thanked Indonesia for the invitation to the G20 summit and said he would attend.”

During the conversation, Mr. Putin wished Indonesia’s G20 presidency “success”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. But “for the time being, it is premature to communicate the modalities of Russian participation”, he said, leaving the format of Moscow’s participation in doubt.

Mr. Zelensky had announced in a tweet that he was invited to the summit by Indonesia on Wednesday, following a call with Mr. Widodo. Russia is a G20 member, while Ukraine is not.

The West has attempted to diplomatically isolate Russia since the beginning of its military offensive in February. A meeting of G20 finance ministers in April in Washington illustrated the deep divisions in the group of the world’s major economies, with the U.S. and several allies boycotting talks to protest Russian participation.

But Indonesia, like most major emerging economies, has tried to maintain a neutral position. President Widodo said on Friday that Indonesia would not send weapons to Ukraine in response to a request from his Ukrainian counterpart, instead offering humanitarian aid.

The war in Ukraine was again a major talking point on Friday when Mr. Widodo spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The Indonesian president called for an immediate end to hostilities and stressed the need for a “peaceful solution”. Mr. Kishida agreed that the violence must end but used stronger language to describe the conflict. “An infringement on sovereignty and territorial integrity through the use of force and intimidation, as well as an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, are unacceptable in any region,” he said.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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