September 26, 2022
JAKARTA – Indonesia is keeping tabs on the latest developments over the recently announced Russian partial mobilization and hopes that the conflict can reach a solution away from the use of nuclear weapons, the Foreign Ministry says.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said that Indonesia continued to follow closely the development of the conflict in Ukraine via Indonesian missions in Ukraine and Russia. The government remains watchful regarding to what degree the recent developments had the potential for security escalation in the conflicting region or wider environment.
“We are keeping tabs closely on the developments that occurred, including the recent statement from [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin,” Faizasyah said in a press briefing on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists and warned the West he was not bluffing when he said would be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people — this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address.
He said that with NATO expansion toward the Russian border, the West was plotting to destroy Russia, engaging in a “nuclear blackmail” against Moscow and accused the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom of encouraging Ukraine to push military operations into Russia.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia would draft about 300,000 reservists out of around 25 million potential fighters.
Faizasyah highlighted that Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi’s current presence at 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly was an opportunity for Indonesia to communicate and to consult with various parties on the development of the conflict in Ukraine.
He said that Indonesia and countries in the world at large hoped that the conflict could reach a solution away from the destruction of nuclear weapons.
“We have seen the destruction brought by nuclear weapons during World War II. We do not want similar destructiveness to happen again,” Faizasyah said.
He went on to say that President Joko “Jokowi ” Widodo’s visit to Kyiv and Moscow in late June, addressing specific issues on food access, the challenges of global energy supply and issues of common concerns across the world, had brought positive developments.
The issues that Jokowi brought up during his visits to Kyiv and Moscow were being followed up by the UN secretary-general as shipments of foodstuff from Ukraine had resumed, he said.
On July 22, the UN, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul to allow exports of foodstuffs and fertilizer from Ukraine via a safe maritime-humanitarian corridor.
The first shipment under the deal was the cargo-ship Razoni carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn departing from the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine on Aug. 1.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s Director for Citizen Protection Judha Nugraha said that Indonesian citizens in Russia were still safe and remained calm amid the recent announcement of partial mobilization in Russia.
“However, according to our procedures, the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow keeps updating its contingency plan to anticipate any kind of situation,” Judha said on Thursday.
Push for peace
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi reiterated Indonesia’s commitment to peace during a meeting with foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Retno told the NAM countries the current global security situation was reminiscent of that of 1961, when then-president Sukarno warned that politics based on power and weapons would only end on the battlefield.
“Indonesia is committed to push for peace including in Ukraine. That was also the message that we brought when President Jokowi visited Kyiv and Moscow,” Retno said on Wednesday.
Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a senior researcher on international politics and foreign policy at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) said that the war in Ukraine seems to be escalating not just with the announced partial mobilization by Putin but also the threat of nuclear weapons being used.
“Indonesia needs to express its concerns over the escalation of conflict. We hope that this conflict doesn’t spill over and we must call for the violence to stop,” Dewi said on Thursday.
She said that although Jokowi’s message on grain shipment had seen some progress after his visits to Kyiv and Moscow, the message of stopping the war seemed to have not been heeded yet, especially with the recently announced Russian partial mobilization.
Dewi called for NAM countries to also speak up to urge an end to violence in Ukraine and promote peaceful resolution, as the impacts of the conflict to global food and energy security were felt by all of the NAM countries.