Indonesian president to visit Kyiv and Moscow

Indonesian President to visit Kyïv and Moscow

UPDATE DAY

Indonesian Head of State and G20 President Joko Widodo will soon travel to Ukraine and Russia to discuss the economic and humanitarian consequences of the Russian invasion, his foreign minister announced on Wednesday.  

Mr. Widodo will travel to Kyiv and Moscow after representing Indonesia as a guest country at the G7 summit in Germany on June 26-27, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced. 

He will be the first Asian leader to visit both countries since the beginning of the conflict.

“During his visit to Kyiv and Moscow, the President will meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and President (Vladimir ) Putin,” Ms. Marsudi added in an online press briefing.

Jakarta sparked controversy by inviting Russia to the summit of the 20 most developed economies, to be held in November on the island Indonesian woman from Bali, despite accusations of war crimes.

Western countries, led by the United States, are putting pressure on Indonesia, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, to exclude Moscow from this meeting.

Ms Marsudi did not specify the dates of these meetings but the Minister of Security, Mahfud MD, quoted by an official media on Monday, mentioned a meeting with the head of the Kremlin on June 30. A date also advanced by the Russian public news agency Tass.

The Minister assured that Mr. Joko Widodo will seek a way out of the global food crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has crippled world markets and caused cooking oil shortages and soaring prices for Indonesians. 

“The president's visit highlights (Indonesia's) concerns on humanitarian issues, trying to contribute to the resolution of the food crisis caused by the war and its consequences,” he said. she explained.

Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, has been hit hard by this crisis, forcing the government to impose an export ban on the product in April, before lifting it.

Like many emerging economies, Indonesia has tried to maintain a neutral stance on the war.

Mr. Widodo refused to send arms to Ukraine, as requested by Mr. Zelensky, instead offering humanitarian aid.

Jakarta has invited Ukraine as a guest country at the G20 summit. Mr. Zelensky replied that he would participate, at least by videoconference.