MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attend the G20 summit in Indonesia this November, a Kremlin advisor said Monday.

“We have received the official invitation... and we have responded positively, saying we are interested in participating,“ Yuri Ushakov told reporters.

He said that with “a lot of time” before the November 15-16 summit in Bali, there could be changes to the manner that Russia participates.

“But for now, the invitation is for participation in person,“ Ushakov added.

During the Covid pandemic in October, Putin joined the G20 summit in Rome via video-link.

Indonesia – which holds the group’s rotating presidency this year – caused controversy by inviting Russia to the gathering of the world’s major economies.

Western countries, led by the United States, have been putting pressure on Jakarta to exclude Moscow following Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and accusations of war crimes.

But Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated Monday that he was still open to taking part, despite Putin’s expected attendance.

Scholz, who is currently hosting the G7 summit of top industrialised nations, said he would make a final decision on whether to attend “shortly before departure.”

He noted that Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen likewise said on Sunday that she did not rule out sitting at the same table with Putin at the G20.

She said it was “important to tell him to his face what we think of him.”

G20 nations make up about 80 percent of total world economic output, while the G7 contributes about 31 percent. — AFP