Putin not to attend G20 in-person, Lavrov to replace him
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also been invited but said last week that if Putin attended, then he wouldn't.
US media reported on Wednesday, citing sources, that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the G20 summit in Indonesia next week.
Bloomberg news reported that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to replace Putin in an attempt to avoid confrontations with Western leaders.
According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, different formats of representation were being brainstormed for the G20 and the APEC meeting of 21 Pacific Rim economies in Thailand.
Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, the G20 host country, has been under Western pressure to withdraw the invitation for Putin to join due to the war in Ukraine, but Widodo was adamant that all leaders are welcome to the G20.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also been invited but said last week that if Putin attended, then he wouldn't.
Lavrov will be heading the Russian delegation at the summit, to be held on the island of Bali from November 15 to 16, as confirmed by the spokesperson of the Russian Embassy in Indonesia Alexander Tumaikin.
"The Russian delegation will be headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov," Tumaikin said.
Video format is an option
Putin's possibility of still joining the G20 summit through a video call is being considered, Tumaikin told Sputnik on Thursday. "The format of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's participation is being worked out. He could attend the summit via video conference," he said.
In the last G20 Summit that took place among foreign ministers, Russia was cornered by all sides from the West, prompting Lavrov to walk out of the talks after Russia got accused of triggering a global hunger crisis.
Lavrov slammed the West's "frenzied" condemnation of the Ukraine war at the G20 conference on July 8, accusing Russia's adversaries of sabotaging a chance to address global economic challenges.