Indonesian President Widodo and Putin Dialogue on Diplomacy and Economic Initiatives in Moscow
July 4, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in the Kremlin on June 30, where they discussed diplomacy, and a stunning array of economic initiatives and projects between the two countries. Widodo is the rotating chair of the G20 this year; next year he will chair ASEAN.
Widodo briefed Putin on a meeting that he held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev the day before, and delivered to Putin a message from Zelenskyy, whose contents are not publicly disclosed. In his remarks, reported on Kremlin website, Widodo said “efforts to restore global supply chains are futile without integrating Russian food and fertilizer supplies and Ukrainian grain supplies.” He further remarked that at 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; this is true. But the owners of our companies that produce fertilizers, and even their family members, have been put on the sanction lists. This makes it difficult to conclude contracts and complicated financial transactions. They have imposed sanctions on cargo insurance. That is, they have not formally imposed any sanctions on the products, but they have created a situation where it is much more difficult now to supply these products to foreign markets.”
Otherwise, the two presidents discussed a wide array of initiatives:
• Presidents Putin and Widodo are working on negotiations for a draft free trade zone agreement between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union. After their meeting, Putin told reporters at their joint press conference: “We attach much importance to creating a free trade zone between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union. We hope talks on the corresponding draft agreement will be held before the end of the year and will produce results.”
• A senior Indonesian government official told the Singapore Straits Times July 1, that the Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina and the Russian-controlled oil company Rosneft “are going ahead with their project to build [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, to be 45% owned by Rosneft and 55% by Pertamina, which will give Indonesia, which produces nearly 1 million barrels of oil per day, more ability to refine its own oil, and not buy refined products on the world market.
• On July 1, the Russian Embassy in Jakarta said that President Putin offered to have Russian Railways invest in Indonesia’s new capital, named Nusantara, in Kalimantan, whose construction, to begin in August, had been delayed by the pandemic.
• During their Moscow joint press conference, Putin stated, “With its unique experience, competences and unparalleled technology, Rosatom State Corporation is willing to take part 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 a 10 MW experimental nuclear reactor at Serpong, near Jakarta. Rosatom is the world’s largest exporter of nuclear power.
Indonesia, with 274 million people, is the world’s fourth most populous nation (after China, India and the U.S.), and the largest Muslim nation by population. Putin reported June 30 that “recently a delegation from Russia’s Muslim regions visited Jakarta for the first time in history.”