US speaks out on Zelensky’s G20 participation

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If Putin takes part in the summit in Indonesia, Ukraine’s leader should also attend in some form, the White House says

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should take part in the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali in November, despite his country not being part of the club of leading economies, the Biden administration has insisted.

If Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends the event, then the US believes Zelensky must also “participate,” Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by the White House National Security Council (NSC).

The statement did not specify whether the US wants the Ukrainian leader to travel to Bali in person, or join by video link, which was the format used by Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmitry Kuleba when addressing the G20 in July.

Zelensky has already been invited to Bail by the government of Indonesia, which currently presides over the G20.

However, the NSC statement reiterated that “President Biden has said publicly himself, he does not think President Putin should attend the G20 as he wages his war against Ukraine.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Friday that both the Russian and Chinese leaders have confirmed to him that they will personally attend the event in Bali. “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come,” he said.

READ MORE: Putin and Xi to attend G20 summit – host

Putin and Widodo discussed preparations for the summit during their phone call earlier this week, the Kremlin said, without specifying whether the Russian leader will travel to Bali or take part virtually.

The format of Putin’s attendance will depend on “the situation in the world and the sanitary-epidemiological environment in Southeastern Asia,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said last month.

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