Washington - Russian President Vladimir Putin is still invited to the G20 summit in Bali in November because invitations to all heads of the state for the meeting were sent out months ago, Sri Mulyani, finance minister of Indonesia, the summit’s host country, said.
“Inviting the head of state cannot be like ‘Oh, tomorrow we’re going to have a G20, and we can send the invite [now]’,” Mulyani said in a debate on the sidelines of the 2022 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Thursday.
“We sent out invites like back then and it's already sent. Now, all the countries in the G20 have received the invitation.”
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine has prompted the collective West to impose comprehensive sanctions, resulting in the worst relations between Moscow and the West since World War II.
This week, senior finance officials from the West walked out of a separate G20 meeting in Washington to protest Russia's presence.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen led a multi-nation boycott as Russian officials spoke at that meeting. She was joined by Ukrainian, British, French and Canadian delegates. Many other attendees who attended virtually turned their cameras off.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland later shared a photo of the attendees who walked out of the Wednesday meeting, saying in a caption that “the world's democracies will not stand idly by, in the face of continued Russian aggression and war crimes”.
Mulyani said those opposed to Russia's presence at the Bali meet could do what Freeland did.
“It not easy… they are all in the same room,” the Indonesian finance minister said. “But if you don't agree, and you want to express that politically, particularly like Chrystia who just walked out, that's an expression of policy. It doesn't prevent us to talk about [what is] important.”
The Bali summit of the G20 is a two-day affair between November 15 and 16.