Russian Deputy Prime Minister To Attend Asia-Pacific Summit in San Francisco

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk will represent the Kremlin at this week's high-level Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, despite U.S. efforts to isolate Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, TURAN's Washington correspondent reporters.

"We have been pretty consistent all year long in saying that, while we were very excited to be hosting APEC, we would do so within the laws and regulations of the United States, including with respect to sanctions," Matt Murray, the State Department official in charge of APEC, told reporters on Monday.

Unlike Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders, Overchuk is not specifically under U.S. sanctions, although he is under a variety of Western sanctions including from the EU.

Murray said he recently had meetings with his senior official counterpart from Russia.

Although the deputy minister "clearly won't be on the same level" in diplomatic protocol as heads of state and government who are coming to APEC, Russia's participation has been shaped by sanctions, as he put it.

It wasn't immediately clear if the U.S. has also invited Ukraine to attend the APEC summit as a guest country.

When pressed by TURAN's correspondent on whether Ukraine was being discussed without Kyiv's participation, State Department's spokesperson Matthew Millertold a daily briefing on Monday that Washington 'will never make any decisions or we’re not in a place to make any decisions' without Ukraine.

Miller concluded:  "Of course, we will talk about the war in Ukraine and we will talk about how we can best defend Ukraine.  We always do that with partners; the Secretary has talked a number of times about how he’s constantly in meetings with foreign counterparts looking for ways that other countries can assist Ukraine. We will certainly do that."

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