Putin tells India PM Modi he will not attend Delhi summit
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will not attend the G20 Summit in Delhi next month.

The summit will take place from 9-10 September in the capital Delhi, which is hosting this year’s summit.

Having ranked Mr Modi, Mr Putin told him that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would attend the summit on his behalf.

A statement from India said the two leaders also discussed “regional and global issues of mutual concern”.

Last week, a Russian government spokesperson said Mr Putin would not attend the summit due to his busy schedule.

There are 19 wealthiest countries in the world, plus the European Union, that are a member of the G20. The G20 presidency rotates annually between members with India currently holding the position.

It is expected that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be a talking point at the summit in Delhi, where world leaders will be in attendance, including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

In order to avoid the risk of possible arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr Putin attended the Brics summit last week via video link from Johannesburg. The Brics acronym stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. He is accused of war crimes in Ukraine by the ICC, which has issued a warrant for his arrest.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed “understanding” for Russia’s decision and thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting Delhi’s initiatives while it held the G20 presidency.

In its statement, Russia didn’t mention Mr Putin’s absence from the G20 summit, but said it had agreed to “close collaboration” under its BRICS chairmanship beginning on 1 January next year.

“The discussion covered current Russian-Indian relations, which are evolving into a special strategic partnership,” the statement said.