Russian President Vladimir Putin rejects invitation to APEC Summit in Thailand

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok next week, despite Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs confirming the Russian leader’s attendance last month.

Yesterday, the Russian Embassy informed Thailand’s foreign ministry that Putin would no longer be attending the meeting on November 18-19. Instead, he is sending First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov in his place.

Putin earlier expressed his intention to attend the APEC Summit himself but has since changed his mind, citing that he is too busy with the war he launched in Ukraine.

The Russian President will virtually attend the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, via video call from November 15-16. Although, Putin is also sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the G20 Summit as well, who will also represent Russia at ASEAN meetings in Cambodia this month in lieu of Putin.

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Western countries put pressure on Indonesia to withdraw Putin’s invitation due to his ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, but Indonesia refused. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he will not attend the summit if Putin does.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen have all confirmed their attendance at the APEC meeting in Bangkok.

Mexico, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – four of the world’s 21 APEC member states – are sending delegations to the summit.

President of America Joe Biden cannot make it to Bangkok but is sending Vice President Kamala Harris to the summit in his place.

Despite not being APEC members, the UK and India were invited to the APEC Summit due to their strong trade ties with Thailand. However, officials from both countries cannot make it.

Thai officials have been busy ramping up security to ensure the safety of the attendees of the meeting by hunting down foreign fugitives in the kingdom.

Officials have also been beautifying the capital in anticipation of the summit by removing power poles and burying communication cables outside the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, where the meeting will take place.

A section of Ratchadaphisek Road will be closed for five days from November 14-18 to reduce traffic for attendees of the meeting. If you need to access the road you can apply for an APEC 2022 Route Pass online.

Suvarnabhumi Airport will offer seven days of free parking for the APEC Summit from November 12-21.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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