Why Russian President Putin Is Skipping G20 Summit 2023 in India | Explained

As India prepares to welcome all G20 Delegates and world leaders on September 9 and 10, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced his absence from the global meet. The Russian President also skipped the BRICS Summit 2023 held in South Africa.
Why Russian President Putin Is Skipping G20 Summit 2023 in India | Explained

Why Russian President Putin Is Skipping G20 Summit 2023 in India | Explained

Photo : AP
Moscow: As India prepares to welcome all G20 Delegates and world leaders on September 9 and 10, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced his absence from the global meet. The Russian President also skipped the BRICS Summit 2023 held in South Africa.
The Russian President had a phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 28, 2023. During the phone call, Putin conveyed his absence at the G20 Summit and also congratulated Modi on the success of Chandrayaan-3.
In the phone call, Putin cited “special military operations” to Modi, as a reason for his absence from the G20 Summit due to the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. However, this won’t be the first time Putin has skipped a global event.
Last week, the Russian President was also absent from the BRICS Summit 2023 in South Africa. While Putin was present at the summit virtually, he was the only leader of the founding countries to not physically attend the summit.
Furthermore, Putin was also absent from last year’s G20 Summit 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.

Why is Putin Skipping key global events?

Due to Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, numerous concerns have been raised regarding the degree of war crimes inflicted by Russian forces. From waterboarding, torture, and sexual assault to the abduction of children, Russia and President Putin have been at the centre of criticism from across the globe.
However, one of the reasons that’s holding Putin back from leaving Moscow has been attributed to the arrest warrant against him. In March 2023, the International Criminal Court, ICC, issued an arrest warrant for President Putin. The ICC has issued a warrant for the President for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The warrant also holds Putin responsible for alleged child abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.
Along with Putin, an arrest warrant is also out for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights working in Putin's administration. Under this warrant, the Interpol and international services would be working towards arresting the President.
It is unlikely that Putin or Lovva-Belova will be arrested since Russia does not recognise the ICC or its powers. However, the President would still be risking arrest when traveling abroad.
For instance, if Putin attended the BRICS Summit 2023, South Africa, being an ICC signatory, would be required to help in Putin's arrest and hand him over to the international court. Despite, India not being a member-state or signatory of the International Court, Putin will remain absent and is sending in Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to represent the Russian Federation.
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