April 3, 2023
JAKARTA – Indonesia and Russia officially signed an extradition agreement over the weekend in an effort to combat transnational organized crimes following the increasing number of Russians visiting and investing in Indonesia
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko signed the extradition agreement at a ceremony in the Hilton Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday morning.
Yasonna called the occasion an “essential milestone” of Indonesia-Russia relations, as it will enhance cooperation and collaboration in law enforcement efforts.
“This treaty serves as the opportunity to reflect on our commitment in enhancing our cooperation and collaboration in the areas of law enforcement, security and justice,” Yasonna said on Friday.
He said Indonesia and Russia have enjoyed a long-standing relationship since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1950. Since then, the two countries have been able to maintain a solid partnership in various fields including trade, investment and culture.
The minister said that bilateral trade has shown steady growth, reaching approximately US$2.7 billion in 2021 with Indonesia exporting $1.6 billion of goods to Russia, making Indonesia one of Russia’s biggest trading partners in Asia.
In 2022, Russia’s investment to Indonesia reached $3.5 billion, an increase of 29.87 percent compared with the previous year.
“Our countries also agreed to increase our bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2025 particularly in the fields of energy, tourism, culture and industry,” the minister said.
“Indonesia also continues to be a good host for various visits by Russians, whether for business or tourism,” he added.
In 2022, over 70,000 Russians visited Bali, generating more than $60 million in foreign exchange earnings, a dramatic increase of 783.5 percent from 2021 of only around $8,000.
Following the positive growth of the bilateral cooperation, both countries also recognized the importance to strengthen efforts in combating transnational organized crime, Yasonna said.
He said transnational organized crime was growing fast and continued to evolve, affecting the security and stability of countries all over the world.
“Their link groups and networks are flexible and we have frequently become the avenues for trafficking. Criminal networks have also become increasingly sophisticated, adapting to new technologies and exploiting vulnerabilities in our societies,” he said.
Yasonna said Indonesia and Russia had been working closely together in recent years to combat transnational organized crimes, such as deporting and extraditing fugitives, despite without an official treaty.
“We recognize that there is still much work to do for combating transnational crimes and to bring those responsible to justice. Therefore, the signing of this treaty will represent a crucial step towards facilitating more effective cooperation between our law enforcement agencies in combating transnational crimes,” he said.
For his part, Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko highlighted that Indonesia was one of Russia’s key partners in the Asia Pacific region.
He said the Indonesia-Russia relationship had been constructive and mutually beneficial, with regular consultations and meetings having taken place at various levels, including in the law enforcement field.
“I am sure that this treaty will strengthen the international legal basis for Indonesia-Russia cooperation in combating crime,” Chuychenko said.