Merkel to skip this year's Munich Security Conference, Lavrov to represent Russia
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not attend this year's Munich Security Conference, at which Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, chair of the conference Wolfgang Ischinger told reporters in Berlin on Monday.
The chancellor has taken part in every second conference since 2008, including last year's event, Ischinger said, adding that if this pattern continues he is almost certain that the chancellor will attend this conference in 2021.
The German government will at this year's conference be represented by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, he said.
"Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation," Ischinger said.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will also take part in this year's Munich Security Conference, along with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Ischinger said.
The Munich Security Conference was established in 1963 as a forum for NATO member countries and as an international discussion platform, which annually brings together political leaders from all over the world. This year's event will be held from February 14 to February 16 at its traditional venue - the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in the center of Munich.