War in Ukraine

Jokowi to visit Kyiv, Moscow after G-7 meeting in Germany

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit Ukraine and Russia later this month, after attending the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Germany, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said yesterday.

Indonesia's top diplomat said at a media conference that Mr Widodo will hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv before going to Moscow, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Describing the visits as ones carried out in "an abnormal situation", Ms Retno said Mr Widodo "opted to try to contribute and not to remain silent" amid the "complicated situation and complex problems" the world is facing.

Mr Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, is the current president of the Group of 20 (G-20) and member of the Champion Group of the Global Crisis Response Group formed by the United Nations Secretary-General.

He is trying "to contribute to tackling the food crisis caused by the war, whose impact is felt by all countries, especially developing and low-income countries" and "encourage the spirit of peace", Ms Retno said, noting that the President is set to become the first Asian leader to visit both countries amid the war.

Mr Widodo may discuss the issue of Russia's blockade of Odesa, which sharply cuts food shipments from Ukraine, the world's key producer of commodities such as wheat and maize, Reuters reported, citing political observers.

G-20 meetings of the world's major economies this year have been clouded by the war in Ukraine, and Indonesia, as its president, is trying to seek a balance of interests among members, especially amid threats by some Western countries to boycott the summit and their pushing to exclude Russia.

In April, Indonesia said it would also invite Mr Zelensky to the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Bali in November, and would not withdraw its invitation to Mr Putin.

Ms Retno did not specify the exact dates of the visits, but Russian news agency Tass earlier reported that Mr Widodo was scheduled to meet Mr Putin on June 30, citing Kremlin sources who said the Indonesian President's visit will be "very important" and that it underlines the importance of Indonesia as Russia's partner.

Mr Widodo will attend the G-7 summit on Sunday and next Monday before travelling to Kyiv and Moscow and ending his trip in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Indonesia is not a G-7 member, but was invited by the summit's host, Germany, as a partner country. The G-7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline Jokowi to visit Kyiv, Moscow after G-7 meeting in Germany. Subscribe