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G20 leaders still want Putin to attend the upcoming summit

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Despite the international outrage surrounding Russia’s involvement in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, G20 leaders still expect President Vladimir Putin to attend the forum’s summit in November. Australia, which will be hosting the gathering, said on Saturday that it was the “emphatic” wish of the G20 member nations that Russia’s president attend the gathering.

Many have questioned whether or not President Putin should be invited to the gathering, which is being held in Brisbane, because of Russia’s involvement in the brutal, five-month conflict that is happening in Ukraine, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 people.

Opposition to President Putin’s attendance intensified greatly after a Malaysia Airlines plane, which was carrying 298 people, 38 of which were Australian citizens, was shot down over eastern Ukraine back in July, killing everyone onboard. The Ukrainian government and the West have accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the aircraft with a surface-to-air missile that was supplied by Russia, a charge which the Russian government vehemently denies.

Australia is currently the head of G20, a position which rotates among the member nations, and as such has been canvassing the views of the other member nations about what to do. Despite the West’s concerns about Russia’s territorial ambitions, the Australian treasurer, Joe Hockey, said the consensus was that Russia should attend the summit.

“If one party is to be excluded for various reasons then it requires the agreement of all parties to the G20,” he. “We’ve consulted with a number of countries and the emphatic view came back that of course we expect Russia to attend the G20. They are a member of the G20 and we expect that they would attend the G20 meetings.”

Read more about the story at Business Insider.

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