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Indonesian president offers to take message from Ukraine's leader to Putin

Indonesian president offers to take message from Ukraine's leader to Putin

In this handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service on Jun 29, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo shake hands during a press conference as part of their talks in Kyiv. (Photo: AFP/STR,Ukrainian Presidential Press Service handout)

KYIV: Indonesian President Joko Widodo offered on Wednesday (Jun 29) to deliver a message from Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to try to boost peace hopes.

It was not immediately clear how Zelenskyy responded to the offer made by Jokowi - as President Widodo is known - during talks in Kyiv or whether the Ukrainian leader had any message he wished to send to Putin.

Jokowi is the chair of the Group of 20 nations and one of six leaders the United Nations has appointed as "champions" of a Global Crisis Response Group, formed to address the threat of a hunger and destitution posed by the war in Ukraine.

After his visit to Ukraine, Jokowi is due to go to Moscow to meet Putin, and has said he will urge the Russian president to agree to a ceasefire. Peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv are frozen, with each side blaming the other.

"Even though it's very hard to achieve, I expressed the importance of a peace resolution," Jokowi said after meeting Zelenskyy. "I offered to deliver a message from President Zelenskyy to President Putin whom I'll meet soon."

Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine Feb 24, Ukraine was one of Indonesia's biggest wheat suppliers, but a Russian sea blockade has halted Kyiv's Black Sea grain exports, threatening a global food crisis.

Jokowi has said he is committed to tackling the rise in food and energy prices and shortages since Russia's invasion.

"All efforts must be made to ensure Ukraine can resume exporting food," he said in Kyiv, underlining the need for safety guarantees for Ukrainian food deliveries, especially by sea.

Jokowi, who arrived in Kyiv from Poland after a 12-hour train ride on Wednesday morning, repeated an invitation for Zelenskyy to attend a G20 leaders’ summit in Indonesia’s Bali in November.

Zelenskyy accepted the invitation but said he would attend the event virtually if his country is still at war. Russia is also a member of G20.

Jokowi also visited the town of Irpin where Ukraine suspects Russian soldiers committed atrocities. Moscow denies the allegations.

Last week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that Jokowi wants to show Indonesia’s concern for the humanitarian crisis caused by the war.

“(He) will try to contribute to dealing with the food crisis caused by the war, and the impact felt on all countries, especially the developing and low-income ones,” the minister said.

“And he’ll keep pushing for the spirit of peace.”

Jokowi’s trip to Ukraine is part of a broader working trip which also includes stops in Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Agencies/ec


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