According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on 28 August 2023 the Russian President Valdimir Putin will not be coming to India to attend the 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled to be held in September 2023 in New Delhi.
Vladimir Putin in a telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed this decision . He said that Russia will be represented by its foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
The two leaders reviewed progress on a number of issues of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, including the recently concluded BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.
Valdimir Putin has not attended the17th G-20 Summit meeting held in Indonesia in 2022. He also skipped the recent BRICS summit meeting held in South Africa in August 2023 and attended the meeting through a video link. He has rarely travelled outside his country in the recent past .
One of the reasons put forward by the Russian foreign office is that International travel is currently not on Putin’s agenda as he is concentrating on the Russian special military operation in Ukraine . Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the war is still continuing. Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a ‘special military operation.’Western countries are opposed to the Russian military operation in Ukraine and have imposed a number of sanctions on Russia .
Another reason for Putin’s not travelling outside is that the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Putin accusing him of war crimes in Ukraine. Perhaps this was one of the reason why Putin didn’t visit South Africa as South Africa has signed the International Criminal Court statute .Though India is not a member of the International Criminal Court and there is no fear of his arrest in India .
Group of 20 or G-20 is a multilateral organisation of 19 countries and the European Union. It was set up in 1999 and India has been a member of the G20 since its inception .
The International Criminal Court was set up under the Rome statute signed in 1998. It started functioning from 1 July 2002. Though it is not a part of the United Nations.
Function of International Criminal Court(ICC)
The International Criminal Court is the first permanent and independent international judicial body which investigates and, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community:
The ICC does not replace national courts, but it is accessible when a country cannot or will not conduct investigations or punish culprits.
The Headquarters of International Criminal Court : The Hague, Netherlands
Countries not members of ICC
India, Russia, Israel, the United States, and China are some of the important countries which are not members of the International Criminal Court .