Jokowi appeals to G-20 leaders to show restraint

The Ukraine war has overshadowed meetings of the G-20 hosted by Indonesia, which has struggled to unify members.

Yerica Lai and Fadhil Haidar Sulaeman

Yerica Lai and Fadhil Haidar Sulaeman

The Jakarta Post


President Joko “Jokowi“ Widodo talks to The Jakarta Post's journalists during an interview at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on November 2, 2022.(JP/Abdur Rahim)

November 4, 2022

JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called on leaders of the Group of 20 major economies to resolve their differences at the Bali summit later this month, in the hope of easing tensions arising from the Russia-Ukraine war. “

All parties must exercise restraint. Avoid confrontation and respect all agreements that have been made,” Jokowi said in an interview with The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The Ukraine war has overshadowed meetings of the G20 hosted by Indonesia, which has struggled to unify members while resisting pressure from Western states that have been pushing for Russia’s exclusion from the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali.

The latest crisis came as Russia suspended its involvement in the United Nations deal on grain shipments on Saturday after what it said was a major Ukrainian drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Crimea.

Following Russia’s move, wheat prices on international commodities markets surged as Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest wheat exporters.

Russia’s withdrawal from the deal has been condemned by the United States, which said Moscow was “weaponizing food”.

However, grain export shipments from Ukraine resumed on Wednesday after Russia received what the country’s defense ministry described as sufficient guarantees from Kyiv on demilitarizing the maritime corridor.

Jokowi pointed out that the critical deal, which was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July, directly brought down food prices at that time. He also said that initially the plan was that the G20 leaders would extend the grain deal agreement at the Bali gathering.

“If this is not resolved, we are worried that the [food] crisis will deepen […] It requires good faith from all world leaders. Wisdom,” he said.

Jokowi said he would be on the phone with Russia President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the matter, and to convince the Russian leader to come to Bali.

Putin said last week that he had not yet decided whether to attend the G20 Summit as he continued to deny accusations that Russia would use nuclear weapons in the war. He said if he did not go to the summit, he would send a high-level Russian delegation in his place.

Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly said in recent weeks that Russia could use nuclear weapons to protect its territorial integrity, remarks interpreted in the West as implicit threats to use them to defend parts of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed.

As a response, US President Joe Biden said he had “no intention” of sitting down with Putin while attending the G20 Summit.

Jokowi said 17 out of G20 leaders had confirmed their attendance and he would continue to encourage all of them to come, saying that developing countries are “really waiting” for the leaders to come up with solutions for the food and energy crises.

Attention has also focused on whether Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the fringes of the G20 Summit in Bali. The talks, if realized, would be their first in-person meeting since Biden took office in January last year. “

We hope that there will be a meeting between President Xi Jin Ping and President Joe Biden to reduce tensions. We haven’t resolved one problem yet, we don’t need any more problems,” Jokowi said.

The Ukraine war has sharply impacted global food and energy supplies, which had just been recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grain deal, overseen by the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, has allowed more than 9.7 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs to leave Ukrainian ports.

This has brought much-needed relief to a global food crisis triggered by Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, a major grain exporter.

Under the terms of the deal, ships moving to and from Ukraine are inspected by a joint team of Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and UN officials.

Indonesia, the world’s second-largest wheat importer, imports grain from Ukraine, while also relying on Australia and North America. In recent deals, the country’s millers bought four cargoes of around 200,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat for November shipment in deals signed over the last few weeks, traders said, as reported by Reuters.

Some Vietnamese feed mills that buy Ukrainian wheat are also likely to suffer. Last week, a government agency in Pakistan bought about 385,000 tonnes of wheat in a tender likely to be sourced from Russia and Ukrain

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