There are likely to be at least two major absentees at next week’s G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi, with Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed absent and Chinese President Xi Jinping unconfirmed, the sources said.
Since 2008, the G20 summit has held 16 physical summits, of which about 7 summits had two or more heads of state absent, and six times only one leader was absent, and the three consecutive summits at the beginning of the year were all heads of state Attendance, according to official figures.
Putin formally informed in a phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week that he would not be able to attend the September 9-10 summit of G20 leaders in Delhi, which was led by Russia’s foreign minister. Sergei Lavrov succeeded him.
Putin has largely been absent from international meetings since Russia launched a war against Ukraine early last year, including last year’s G20 summit hosted by Indonesia in Bali and the most recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is also unlikely to attend the G20 summit in Delhi, sources said, although this has not been officially confirmed by either the Indian or Chinese side.
Xi attended the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali last year and the BRICS summit in Johannesburg last month. The fact that he hasn’t confirmed his attendance at the G20 summit in New Delhi is a bit surprising,” a source following the matter told BusinessLine.
G20 is an intergovernmental organization of the world’s major economies, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
The first three summits, held in 2008 and 2009 (two in 2009), were attended by all heads of state. The summits hosted in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017 were all absent from a head of state and represented by a deputy. A total of five summits were held in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019, with representatives from both countries below the head of state attending.
The heads of state of three countries – Russia and Brazil – were absent from last year’s G20 summit following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as many as six the year before, when the world was emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns. The head of state was absent.