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'Vladimir Putin will not attend G20 summit in Delhi in September', says Kremlin

According to the Kremlin, Putin's main emphasis now is the ongoing war against Ukraine which Moscow dubbed a "special military operation."

Reported By : Vijai Laxmi Edited By : Nivedita Dash
New Delhi
Updated on: August 25, 2023 16:56 IST
Vladimir Putin
Image Source : AP Vladimir Putin

In a major development, the Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not visit India for the much-awaited G20 Leaders Summit in New Delhi. The summit is scheduled for September 9 and 10 in India's national capital.

The announcement from Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov came on Friday-- a day after President Putin attended the crucial BRICS Summit virtually and sent his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to South Africa's national capital Johannesburg, where the leaders of Brazil, India, and China attended the mega event in-person with the host South Africa. 

"Putin is not planning a trip to the G20 summit in India, which will be held in September," Peskov said. According to the Kremlin, Putin's main emphasis now is the ongoing war which Moscow dubbed a "special military operation."

Is Putin fearing of ICC arrest warrant?

Although the Kremlin cites ongoing "war" as a reason for his absence, it was obvious his decision to skip the event was motivated by the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged atrocities against children and women in Kyiv.

Notably, ICC issued a warrant in March this year following a report from a United Nations-backed inquiry that revealed Russia's attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, which the court considers as amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. 

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population…from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children," read the court’s statement.

Is India a signatory of the ICC?

It is worth mentioning India is not a member state of the ICC and has never signed its core treaty, the 'Rome Statute', which means there wouldn't have been any trouble for Putin if he had confirmed his attendance for the event. But, this may put India under pressure.

Earlier last month, a controversy broke out after his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, urged him not to attend the BRICS Summit in person-- months after sending him an official invitation to the BRICS Summit.

Since South Africa is a signatory of the ICC, it had to arrest the Russian leader if he had landed in Johannesburg. However, as per the current global setting, South Africa did not want to take any "risk" of annoying the West and hence, urged the Russian leader to attend the summit virtually.

However, addressing a press conference following the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersberg on July 29, the Russian leader downplayed his absence and said, "I don't think my presence there is more important than my presence here in Russia".

Also Read: BRICS Summit: Putin cancels South Africa trip amid fears of getting arrested in Johannesburg

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