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Russia’s Putin won’t attend G20 summit to be held in Rome in person

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Rome in person this month due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, but will take part in it via video link, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said Putin informed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about his plans in a telephone call during which they also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and bilateral issues.

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Separately, the RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Putin’s decision was driven by the epidemiological situation.

Putin briefly self-isolated last month after dozens of people in his entourage were diagnosed with COVID-19. Last week, after coughing repeatedly at a government meeting, Putin said he had caught a cold.

Read more: G20 leaders hold virtual meet, ‘laser-focused’ on anti-terror efforts in Afghanistan