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No plans to boycott Munich Security Conference — Kremlin

The comment was made to dispel speculation around the Russian president's absence at the event this year

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia has no plans to boycott the Munich Security Conference (MSC), Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"There is no boycott," he said, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not take part in the event in 2021. The spokesman added that he was unaware who could represent Russia. At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman stressed that Moscow appreciated "every opportunity to clarify its position, particularly on a reputable platform such as the Munich Conference." "It’s just that the president won’t participate in it this year," he added.

The Munich Security Conference announced earlier that US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus would speak at an online event, dubbed the MSC Special Edition 2021, on February 19. According to the organizers, however, "the order and number of speakers are still subject to change in the coming days."

The Munich Security Conference, established in 1962, usually includes numerous informal and private meetings between politicians. Russia has been participating in the annual event since the late 1990s. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2007 address to the conference emphasized the importance of a multipolar world order and the need to remove double standards from global politics.