Indonesian President Widodo and Putin discuss diplomacy and economic initiatives in Moscow

Indonesian President Widodo and Putin discuss diplomacy and economic initiatives in Moscow

July 4, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met with IIndonesian President Joko Widodo in the Kremlin on June 30, where they discussed diplomacy and an impressive array of economic initiatives and projects between the two countries. Widodo is the rotating presidency of the G20 this year; next year he will chair ASEAN.

Widodo briefed Putin on a meeting he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in kyiv the day before, and handed Putin a message from Zelenskyy, the contents of which have not been made public. In his remarks, reported on the Kremlin’s website, Widodo said “efforts to restore global supply chains are futile without integrating Russian food and fertilizer supplies and Ukrainian grain supplies.” He further noted that at the G7 summit on June 27, “I asked them for guarantees that Russian food and fertilizers would be exempt from sanctions.” Putin replied:

“Formally, they are not included in the sanctions; it’s true. But the owners of our companies that produce fertilizers, and even their family members, have been put on the sanctions lists. This makes it difficult to conclude contracts and complicated financial transactions. They imposed penalties on cargo insurance. In other words, they have not formally imposed any sanctions on the products, but they have created a situation in which it is now much more difficult to supply these products to foreign markets.

Otherwise, the two presidents spoke of a wide range of initiatives:

• Presidents Putin and Widodo are working on negotiations for a draft free trade area agreement between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union. After their meeting, Putin told reporters during their joint press conference: “We attach great importance to the creation of a free trade zone between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union. We hope that the talks on the corresponding draft agreement will take place before the end of the year and will produce results.

• A senior Indonesian government official told the Singapore Strait Time July 1that the Indonesian state oil company Pertamina and the Russian-controlled oil company Rosneft “continue their construction project [an oil] refinery in the Indonesian province of East Java to produce fuel and raw materials [feedstocks] for the petrochemical industry. The Jakarta-based joint venture has completed a $16 billion pre-planning phase, owned 45% by Rosneft and 55% by Pertamina, which will give Indonesia, which produces nearly a million barrels of oil per day, more capacity to refine its own oil, and not to buy refined products on the world market.

• On July 1, the Russian Embassy in Jakarta said that President Putin had proposed that Russian railways invest in the new Indonesian capital, named Nusantara, in Kalimantan, whose construction, which was due to start in August, had been delayed by the pandemic.

• During their joint press conference in Moscow, Putin said: “With its unique experience, skills and unparalleled technology, the state-owned Rosatom Corporation is ready to participate in joint projects, including projects related to the non-energy use of nuclear technology, for example, in medicine and agriculture. Russia has completed the conceptual design and plans to build an experimental 10 MW nuclear reactor at Serpong, near Jakarta. Rosatom is the world’s leading exporter of nuclear energy.

Indonesia, with 274 million inhabitants, is the fourth most populous country in the world (after China, India and the United States) and the largest Muslim country in terms of population. Putin reported on June 30 that “recently a delegation from the Muslim regions of Russia visited Jakarta for the first time in history.”

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