07/01/2022, 15.02
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Widodo tries to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow

by Mathias Hariyadi

The Indonesian president just concluded a trip to Ukraine and Russia in an attempt to overcome the wheat blockade. Putin denies restricting exports from Ukrainian ports. Indonesia remains available to act as a "bridge" between the two warrying countries.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s trip to Ukraine and Russia ended today.

Yesterday, the Indonesian leader met with in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the day before he visited his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Widodo, who this year chairs the G20 forum, said he hoped food and fertiliser supply lines would be restored, after they were disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I really appreciate President Putin who said earlier that he will provide security guarantee for food and fertiliser supplies from both Russia and Ukraine. This is good news,” Widodo said.

The Indonesian leader also urged G7 leaders to ensure that sanctions against Russia do not affect food and fertiliser supplies.

The war in Ukraine has disrupted global trade, raising wheat prices, as supplies are stuck in Ukraine's ports.

During the joint press conference, Putin denied that Russia is blocking Ukrainian exports.

"The Ukrainian military has mined the approaches to their ports," the Russian leader said, "No one prevents them from clearing those mines and we guarantee the safety of shipping grain out of there."

As chair of the G20 forum, Widodo is seeking to mend fences within the group after some countries threatened to boycott the summit if Russia participated.

Widodo is also trying to leverage his position as a non-aligned country to broker an agreement.

Yesterday he claimed to have conveyed a message from Zelensky to Putin, noting that Indonesia is willing to serve as a "communication bridge" between the two leaders, but did not say what was in the message.

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