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SATURDAY, September 30, 2023

Putin ‘wants to attend’ Bangkok Apec summit but it’s complicated: Don

Putin ‘wants to attend’ Bangkok Apec summit but it’s complicated: Don
TUESDAY, October 18, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not confirmed whether he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bangkok next month, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Tuesday.

"Putin wants to attend the meeting but he has to consider a lot of things, such as complicated travel arrangements," Don said.

However, Don doubted other Apec leaders would be deterred from taking part in the summit if Putin does turn up.

Last Tuesday, he said no member country had said it would stay away from the Bangkok meet.

“I insist that every member of Apec will be in attendance, represented either by their leader or delegates,” Don said.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai 

He also confirmed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the newly appointed prime minister of Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to attend the summit as a guest of Apec host Thailand.

Tensions between the United States, an Apec member, and Saudi Arabia flared last week after Washington accused Riyadh of pushing other members of the Opec cartel into cutting oil production by 2 million barrels per day. The move is expected to raise oil prices and increase revenue for Russia, an oil producer, softening the impact of sanctions imposed by the US and other countries over its invasion of Ukraine.

Tensions between Apec members spilled over at May’s meeting in Bangkok when the US and five other member countries staged a walkout protest over the invasion as Russia’s representative got up to speak. The May meeting also ended without the customary joint statement.

Thailand, which holds the Apec chair this year, will be looking to avoid a repeat of such scenes when world leaders arrive for the November 18-19 Apec summit at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in the heart of Bangkok.

Putin ‘wants to attend’ Bangkok Apec summit but it’s complicated: Don

Apart from Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the leader of the host nation, the following is a tentative list of Apec leaders or their representatives who are scheduled to attend the summit:

1. Russia - President Vladimir Putin

2. China - President Xi Jinping

3. Canada - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

4. Indonesia - President Joko Widodo

5. South Korea - President Yoon Suk-yeol

6. Hong Kong - Chief Executive John Lee

7. Australia - Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

8. Chile - President Gabriel Boric

9. Brunei Darussalam - Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

10. Malaysia - Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

11. Mexico - Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier

12. New Zealand - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

13. Papua New Guinea - Prime Minister James Marape

14. Peru - President Pedro Castillo

15. Phillippines - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr

16. US - Vice President Kamala Harris

17. Saudi Arabia - Prime Minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (guest of the Thai government)

18. Singapore - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

19. Representative of Taiwan President - Morris Chang

20. Vietnam - President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc

21. France - President Emmanuel Macron (guest of the Thai government)

22. Cambodia - Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen (guest of the Thai government)