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Indonesia confirms President Jokowi’s trip to Russia and Ukraine – The Diplomat

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Beat ASEAN | Diplomacy | South East Asia

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the Indonesian leader would visit the two warring countries “in the spirit of peace”.

The Indonesian government has confirmed earlier reports that President Joko Jokowi Widodo will pay visits to Ukraine and Russia next week to push for a resolution to their ongoing war, the first such visit by an Asian leader.

The announcement was made yesterday by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who said Jokowi would visit Kyiv and Moscow after attending the G7 summit in Germany from June 26-28, and meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his near namesake and Russian enemy Vladimir. Cheese fries.

“The President shows compassion for the humanitarian crisis, will try to help address the food crisis caused by the war and the impact felt on all countries, especially developing and low-income countries,” Retno said at a press conference. as reported by Reuters. She added: And he will continue to press for the spirit of peace.

Retno did not specify what the talks with Putin and Zelenskyy would be about, or when they would take place, although an earlier report by Russian state media outlet TASS said the meeting between Jokowi and Putin would take place. June 30. An Indonesian government official quoted by the Jakarta Post on June 20 claimed the purpose of the trip was to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others, to allow Ukraine to export the wheat it needs around the world. as part of the ongoing war between the two countries.

Jokowi will make the visits not only as president of Southeast Asia’s most populous nation, but also as president this year of the Group of 20 (G20) economic bloc. Russia’s ill-timed membership in the grouping has threatened to overshadow Indonesia’s G20 presidency, which has been based on the theme of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Western nations have threatened to boycott G20 meetings, including its November summit in Bali, if Putin is allowed to attend. Some have argued that Russia should be kicked out of the G20 altogether, just as it was kicked out of the G7 after it annexed Crimea in 2014.

Indonesia has carefully avoided taking sides in the dispute, pledging to maintain its presidency’s focus on economic issues that are the traditional focus of the G20 and refusing to withdraw its invitation to Putin to attend the G20 summit. bali. To counterbalance his stance and stifle Western criticism, Jokowi also invited Zelenskyy to attend, either in person or (more likely) via video link.

The threat of a G20 derailment explains at least part of Jokowis’s entry into international conflict mediation, something he has generally avoided in the eight years of his presidency. Whether he will succeed in convincing Putin to give up perhaps his main form of influence over the West, namely the ability to cause a global food shortage, remains to be seen, but as I argued last week, the Indonesian leader should enjoy a certain degree of credit to make the attempt.

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