Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are both planning to attend the G20 summit in Bali in November this year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.
In an interview with Bloomberg published Friday, the Indonesian president, commonly known as Jokowi, said: “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come.”
In line with Indonesia’s tradition of nonalignment, Jokowi has sought to maintain a neutral position despite Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine. Late June, the Indonesian president became the first Asian leader to visit Kyiv and Moscow since the start of the full-scale invasion.
Xi and Putin’s presence at the November summit is set to bring them together with U.S. President Joe Biden and EU leaders, in what would be their first in-person meeting since the war began. In March, Biden said that he thought Russia should be removed from the G20.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also expected to attend the summit following an invitation from Indonesia, setting the stage for a potential meeting with Putin.
The trip would be Xi’s first visit outside mainland China in nearly three years, apart from a brief trip to Hong Kong in June, since the coronavirus pandemic began in Wuhan.
While tensions have soared between Beijing and Washington over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, Chinese officials are also making arrangements for Xi to meet face-to-face with Biden in Southeast Asia after the November G20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand, according to the Wall Street Journal.