Indonesian President Widodo due to meet Russia's Putin this month

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 30, 2022. PHOTOS: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesian President and current chair of the G-20 Joko Widodo is due to visit Moscow later this month to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indonesia's state news agency cited the country's security minister as saying.

This year's meetings of the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies have been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, with Indonesia struggling to keep the group united as some Western countries threaten to boycott the summit and push for Russia's exclusion.

The Antara news agency reported that the Indonesian leader, widely known as Jokowi, was scheduled to meet Mr Putin on June 30.

"Yes, that is the president's agenda," Coordinating Security Minister Mahfud MD told reporters at the presidential palace on Monday (June 20).

Russia's state news agency TASS also confirmed the meeting in a report last week, citing a Kremlin source.

Mr Widodo is due to attend a Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Germany taking place on June 26-28 before travelling to Moscow, with a stop in Ukraine also being considered, according to Indonesian media reports.

Mr Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesman for Indonesia's Foreign Ministry, confirmed Mr Widodo would travel to Germany, though he added, "We are still in the process of finalising all relevant matters concerning the planned visit to other countries."

Indonesia in April announced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would also be invited to the G-20 leaders' summit in Bali in November, but made it clear that it would not withdraw Mr Putin's invitation.

US President Joe Biden, Canadian President Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among leaders that have expressed opposition to the Russian leader joining.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed he would attend regardless during a visit to Jakarta this month.

The Indonesian President may also be looking to raise the issue of the Russian blockade of Odessa, which has significantly reduced food shipments out of Ukraine, one of the world's biggest exporters of wheat, maize and sunflower oil, political commentators said.

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