Putin, Zelensky to attend G20 summit in Indonesia

Putin, Zelensky to attend G20 summit in Indonesia

Russian and Ukrainian leaders are both invited to the November G 20 summit in Indonesia.

The leaders of the host country, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky, could both attend the G 20 summit this November on the Indonesian island of Bali.

President Joko Widodo said on Friday that Putin has confirmed to him by phone that he will attend the high-profile event.

President Zelensky has been invited to attend the G20 summit, according to the Indonesian president, confirming an earlier announcement by the Ukrainian leader.

Russia is a member of the G 20, which unites the world's top economies, while Ukraine is not part of the club.

Widodo made it clear that inviting Zelensky to Bali as an observer was part of a compromise reached with the West, which has been pushing for Russia to be barred from the summit over its military operation in Ukraine.

Since the start of the conflict in late February, the Indonesian leader has been reluctant to give in to such pressure, arguing that the host nation must remain impartial.

According to Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said on Friday that Russia will be preparing for the summit, but there is no decision on the format and whether President Putin will address or fly to Bali.

Peskov said that the Russian president had a positive phone conversation with Widodo a day before.

On Wednesday, Zelensky took to Twitter to express his appreciation to Indonesia for inviting him to attend the G 20 summit.

When asked to comment on the issue on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Washington welcomed the news that Ukraine, which the US is supporting with funds and weapons in its conflict with Russia, has been asked to attend the Bali summit. Psaki said that we can't confirm that on behalf of Indonesia.

Sources told Bloomberg that it was Washington's idea for the Ukrainian leader to attend the G20 summit.

In the two months of fighting, Zelensky asked for a meeting with Putin on several occasions, but Moscow insists that the two leaders should only meet if they're going to sign actual documents. The peace talks between the two sides have stalled in recent weeks, with Moscow accusing Kiev of changing its positions on earlier-agreed items.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.