Putin Won’t Go to G-20 Rome Summit, Will Attend by Videolink
(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate in next week’s Group of 20 summit in Rome via videolink, the Kremlin said.
Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi of his plans in a phone call Tuesday, according to an emailed statement.
Putin told Draghi that the pandemic has worsened in Russia and that it’s more appropriate for him to remain in the country, because attending the summit would require a significant number of officials to travel with him to Rome, according to a G-20 official familiar with the call.
Putin offered Draghi support for the G-20 meeting in a very cordial exchange, the official said. He will send Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Rome for the talks, the official added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has indicated he may also take part in the Oct. 30-31 summit remotely.
The Russian leader said last week he may not attend the COP26 United Nations climate change conference in November in Glasgow, participating instead by videolink.
Though vaccinated against Covid-19, Putin has limited his travel in recent months. He spent several weeks in September on self-isolation after dozens of staffers in his entourage came down with Covid-19. He later showed symptoms of a cold but said he didn’t get the virus.
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