May 17, 2022

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Indonesian President Putin invited to G20 summit, Washington refuses to act “as if nothing happened”

“I invited President Zhelensky to attend the G20 summit,” said the Indonesian leader, adding that a compromise had been reached for the planned meeting in Bali, while members of the group were deeply divided from the outset. Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Indonesia, which heads the G20 this year, has come under strong pressure from the US-led West to exclude Russia from the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

But Jakarta opposed it, arguing that it should be “impartial” for its patronage, and that US President Joe Biden, in particular, recommended Ukraine’s participation in finding a balance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said in a tweet on Wednesday that he had been invited by Indonesia to the summit after a telephone conversation with his Indonesian president.

Joko Widodo also spoke with the Russian president on Thursday. “On this occasion, President Putin thanked Indonesia for inviting him to the G20 summit and said he would attend,” the Indonesian president said.

Russian suspicion

During this conversation, Mr. Putin congratulated Indonesia on his “victory” in the G20 presidency and promised that Russia would contribute to it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

But he said “for the time being it is too early to contact the rules of Russian participation,” he said, leaving doubts about the form of Russian participation.

Washington, for its part, expressed its reluctance.

White House spokeswoman Zhen Zaki said on Friday that US President Joe Biden had “publicly expressed his opposition to President Putin’s presence in the G20,” but welcomed the invitation to the Ukrainian summit.

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He said the United States was in contact with the Indonesians and called for a pre-invasion of Russia, which began on February 24.

Russia’s participation in international summits “should not be treated as if nothing had happened,” a foreign ministry spokesman said, adding that he did not say whether Washington would refuse to attend the meeting.

Since the beginning of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine, the West has sought to isolate Russia in the diplomatic arena.

The G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Washington in April illustrated the deep divisions in the group of key global economies by boycotting certain meetings of the United States and several allies against Russian participation.

No weapons

But Indonesia, like most large developing countries, wants to maintain neutrality.

Joko Widodo said on Friday that Indonesia would not send arms to Ukraine in response to a request from the Ukrainian president.

“I have repeatedly stated that, in accordance with the constitution and principles of Indonesian foreign policy, the export of arms to other countries is prohibited,” he said while providing humanitarian assistance to kyiv.

Ukraine and the G20 war were on the menu for Friday’s meeting between the Indonesian leader and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, after which they showed their solidarity.

Joko Widodo highlighted the role of the G20 Forum in activating and adjusting the dialogue on the humanitarian and economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine.

“I agree with the (Indonesian) President that military attacks on Ukraine are intolerable and that violating sovereignty and territorial integrity by force and intimidation and attempting to unilaterally change the status quo by force is intolerable in any region,” the Japanese prime minister said.

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