October 3, 2023

Attending the upcoming G20 summit in person. This decision, if pursued, could mark his first face-to-face interaction with Western leaders since the contentious Ukrainian invasion in 2022. A confidential informant from the Kremlin, opting for anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, shared this insight with .The G20 assembly, scheduled to take place on September 9-10 in the vibrant Indian capital, New Delhi, holds the potential for an intriguing diplomatic showdown. While Putin’s attendance would symbolize a reentry onto the global stage following a period of relative isolation prompted by the Ukrainian conflict, it could also invite intense scrutiny from leaders representing Western nations. The Russian President, who faces a crucial election in just nine months, is seemingly eager to project an image of international engagement and strengthen relationships with nations not firmly aligned with Western interests.

The decision, however, is far from straightforward. Putin’s leadership style has generally entailed carefully orchestrated media appearances and summits with amiable counterparts, such as Belarus, China, and Central Asian nations. In contrast, the G20 event could expose him to a much less accommodating environment, characterized by probing questions from the international press corps. Alexey Maslov, a respected academic and director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State University, has pointed out that the G20 platform could potentially harbor politically hostile dynamics for Putin. He emphasized the significance of whether Putin can ensure that his perspective is adequately presented amid an anticipated barrage of criticism.Jonathan Eyal, the international director of the Royal United Services Institute, noted that Putin would likely face challenging queries from journalists if he chose to attend the summit. The Ukrainian conflict and its repercussions, along with broader geopolitical tensions, would inevitably dominate discussions.

For Putin, who has skillfully navigated diplomatic minefields in the past, the decision holds considerable implications. Balancing the potential benefits of showcasing international engagement and rallying support from non-Western nations with the risks of confronting a skeptical and critical audience presents a complex calculus.As the G20 summit approaches, all eyes will be on Putin’s final decision – whether to step onto the global stage amidst potential turmoil or opt for a more controlled digital presence. The outcome will not only shape his image on the international arena but could also reverberate through global politics, impacting the delicate balance of power among nations.