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Indonesian President Joko Widodo shakes hands with Russia’s Vladimir Putin after their meeting in in Moscow on June 30, 2022. Photo: AP

Ukraine war: Putin and Zelensky refused to meet, Indonesia says of failed peace talks

  • Joko Widodo in June met Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv before holding talks with Vladimir Putin in Moscow during a peace-building mission
  • When his efforts at brokering peace made no headway, he focused his talks on the global food crisis, including on wheat stockpiles
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said he found it “difficult” to bring his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts together for talks aimed at ending the six-month-long war when he met them in June.
Widodo held discussions with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv before meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow during a peace-building mission to the warring countries.
“I actually wanted a space for dialogue when I went to Ukraine and Russia. But on the ground, I realised it was difficult to bring Presidents Zelensky and Putin together to the negotiating table,” Widodo said at an event organised by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in East Jakarta.


Russia promises to open sea route for Ukrainian wheat, says Indonesian president

Russia promises to open sea route for Ukrainian wheat, says Indonesian president
Widodo also said after his efforts to broker peace made no headway despite spending a total of four hours with the two leaders, he changed the theme of the meeting to discuss the global food crisis exacerbated by the conflict. The president added he exchanged views with Zelensky and Putin on wheat stockpiles in Ukraine and Russia.
Food security is a key priority for Widodo, who is set to host a Group of 20 leaders summit in Bali in November.

Indonesia is the world’s second-biggest importer of wheat and has felt the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which cut off grain supplies from a region that fed billions of people in the form of bread, pasta and packaged foods.

The Southeast Asian nation is trying to increase output of corn and wheat substitutes like sorghum, sago and cassava to bolster its food supply chain.

Widodo has instructed the cabinet to produce a road map for expanding planting areas by at least 300 per cent through 2024.

What exactly did Indonesia’s Jokowi achieve in Moscow and Kyiv meetings?

Meanwhile, the US said Ukraine is on course to ship nearly as much grain this month as it did before the Russian invasion, in a triumph for international efforts to ease food shortages.

Kyiv and Moscow last month reached an agreement through the mediation of Türkiye and the UN, with guarantees for ships to sail out of Ukraine’s blockaded Black Sea ports.

A State Department official said on Tuesday that the efforts have moved out more than 720,000 tonnes of grain from the ports through 33 vessels over the past several weeks.