Putin, Indonesia’s Jokowi to skip APEC summit in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Benigno Aquino III to tell him he will skip the summit of the Pacific Rim leaders in Manila next week because of the ongoing investigation into the crash of a Russian plane in Egypt, Aquino’s spokeswoman said Friday.

Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will head the Russian delegation.

U.S. and British officials say the cause of the Oct. 31 crash, which killed all 224 people on board, was likely a bomb planted on the plane.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will also most likely be unable to attend the summit due to pressing matters in Indonesia, but the Philippines is still awaiting a formal confirmation on who will represent him, she added.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir has confirmed that Jokowi will miss the summit because of several issues, including preparations for regional elections. He said that Indonesia will be represented by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.