Recently, it was reported that Putin called Modi personally to inform his absence from the G20 Summit. This will be his second absence from a notable global diplomatic event as he did not attend the 15th BRICS Summit as well. There were speculations that Johannesburg, South Africa is a signatory of the ICC, and for that reason, they urged Putin to not show up in the event as the ICC has released an arrest warrant against Putin for Ukraine war crimes. However, this claim was vehemently declined by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa. While addressing a press conference in St. Petersburg he had said, “I don’t think my presence there is more important than my presence here in Russia.”
The court has issued arrest warrants for the Russian president and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for the forced deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia, where many have been adopted by Russian families. Forced deportation of populations is recognised as a crime under the ‘Rome statute’ that established the court. Russia was a signatory to the Rome statute, but withdrew in 2016, saying it did not recognise the jurisdiction of the court.
Although Ukraine is itself not a signatory to the ICC in The Hague, it granted the court’s jurisdiction to investigate war crimes committed on its territory.
At a time when the Kremlin had shared with the media that Putin’s truancy is attributed to his crucial need in Russia as the country launches a ‘military operation’ against Ukraine, reports suggest Putin to be in attendance in China at Xi Jinping’s invite.
According to the report, Putin will attend China’s Belt and Road Forum Conclave, which is scheduled in October this year. “The schedule of bilateral Russian-Chinese contacts at various levels, including at the highest level, is being coordinated. We will inform you about specific events and deadlines in a timely manner,” Bloomberg quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
If Vladimir Putin does follow up on this invitation, it will be his first global visit in a long time as well as his first visit to an ‘allied nation’ ever since Putin launched a so-called ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine in the ongoing war.
China has been Russia’s ally throughout the declaration of the war alongside Belarus and North Korea, Syria, and Nicaragua while India abstained from any voting whatsoever during the resolution being passed by the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly).
Earlier in February of 2022, a few days before he declared war– the Russian President visited Beijing for the Winter Olympics and reportedly discussed the war strategy with his Chinese counterpart.
Admittedly, the major development came days after the Kremlin confirmed that the Russian President will not be visiting its “all-weather” ally, India, for the much-awaited G20 Leaders Summit in New Delhi. The summit is scheduled for September 9 and 10 in the newly inaugurated ITPO complex in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
The G20 Summit is expected to be attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov.