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G20 Conundrum: Russia-Ukraine-Indonesia

Indonesia’s presidency of the G20, which concludes with the hosting of the G20 Summit in late October 2022, seeks to preserve the appearance of global economic cooperation by focusing on three main agendas amid the continuing Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Indonesia’s Presidency of G20 for 2022

In the run-up to the global Summit, the three key items expected to attract the attention of 6,500 delegates from 20 countries, 38 heads of state, and 60 state ministers are global health architecture, digital transformation, and energy transition. These three pillars for the Bali G20 Summit were revealed by Dian Tiansyah Djani, Special Staff for Strengthening Priority Programs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during an online press conference on Thursday, 10 March 2022.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Djani acknowledged that the sanctions imposed on Russia – a member of the group of 20 countries representing the most prominent global economies – may have a significant impact on the course of the Summit. Djani accepted participating delegations have the right to voice their aspirations, including those related to the conflict, at the G20. According to Djani, Indonesia, as G20’s President, adheres to the principles and mandate of the G20 to respond to any crisis in the economic sector. “In principle, each delegation has the right to express their views on all issues, not just this issue (the Russia-Ukraine conflict). Again, we will continue to focus on the mandate of the G20 establishment, don’t lose sight,” he warned.

Continuing, Djani reminded all that the theme of the Bali G20 is “Recover Together, Recover Stronger” and that Indonesia remains committed to seeking concrete and positive solutions that benefit the world. “There remains much homework for us to complete. We shall always focus on the world’s interests, particularly in addressing the problems linked to the pandemic over the past two years,” said Djani.

Quoted separately by the State News Agency Antara, Winardi Hanafi Lucky, the 2nd Director for Europe at the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs, said: “Free and active foreign policies do not equal neutral active. Indonesia still contributes its thoughts, both in terms of the concepts and actual assistance in resolving conflict.” Winardi’s comments were made during a webinar held in Jakarta on Friday, 11 March 2022, titled “The Russian-Ukraine Crisis: The Role and Position of Indonesian and ASEAN.”

Winardi insists that Indonesia is entitled to form independent positions that support the Country’s national interest while upholding a code of respect among all nations. He added that Indonesia would continue to use its strength and influence to end hostilities and see all parties lay down arms.

Referring specifically to Russia and Ukraine, Winardi believes that the best step in the current situation is to deescalate the conflict to the point where negotiations can be effectively held, and humanitarian solutions are achieved. He also called on the Indonesian public to exercise caution and wisdom in observing developments in Ukraine and avoid fostering disagreements within the Indonesian people. Adding: The Indonesian public needs to remain united and preserve national sovereignty.

Winardi concluded, saying Indonesia maintains friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine.

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