Russia's Putin gets Chinese backing to stay in G20
Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the next G20 summit in Indonesia later this year and received valuable backing from Beijing on Wednesday in a pushback to suggestions by some members that Russia could be barred from the group.
The United States and its Western allies are assessing whether Russia should remain within the Group of Twenty major economies following its invasion of Ukraine, sources involved in the discussions told Reuters.
But any move to exclude Russia would probably be vetoed by others in the group, raising the prospect of some countries instead skipping G20 meetings, the sources said.
Russia's ambassador to Indonesia, which currently holds the rotating G20 chair, said Putin intended to travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the G20 summit in November.
"It will depend on many, many things, including the COVID situation, which is getting better. So far, his intention is... he wants to," Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva told a news conference.
Asked about suggestions Russia could be kicked out of the G20, she said it was a forum to discuss economic issues and not a crisis like Ukraine.
"Of course expulsion of Russia from this kind of forum will not help these economic problems to be resolved. On the contrary, without Russia it would be difficult to do so."
China, which has not condemned Russia's invasion and criticised Western sanctions, defended Moscow on Wednesday, calling Russia an "important member" of the G20.
The G20 is a group that needs to find answers to critical issues, such as economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
"No member has the right to remove another country as a member. The G20 should implement real multilateralism, strengthen unity and cooperation," he told a news briefing.
Indonesia's foreign ministry declined to comment on calls for Russia to be excluded from the G20.