On June 29, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who had just attended the three-day G7 summit at the Ellmau Palace Hotel in southern Germany, took the night train to Kyiv. He will then travel to Moscow to meet Putin. As a result, Jokowi became the first Asian leader to visit Kyiv and Moscow since the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Since February this year, dozens of countries around the world have been experiencing crises of rising food prices, energy shortages and financial turmoil. Against this background, Widodo’s trip to Europe and the G20 summit to be held in about four months have been pinned on hopes of persuading peace and promoting talks. After all, Jakarta did not fully blame the Russian side for the conflict between Russia and Ukraine before, and Jokowi also rejected Zelensky’s request to donate weapons.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, will host the G20 summit in Bali in November. As early as the beginning of May, Joko Widodo invited Putin, who launched a major military operation, to participate in the G20. Interestingly, the former also sent an invitation to Ukrainian President Zelensky.
As early as after the Russian-Ukrainian war, the leaders of the United States, Australia, Canada and other Western countries have successively expressed their views calling for Russia to be removed from the G20. But now, unsurprisingly, Putin has given a positive response to Jokowi’s invitation. His assistant revealed that Putin received an invitation letter from Jokowi, and the Russian side will attend the summit.
The formulation of the G20 invitation list has become the first link that Jokowi needs to worry about.
According to G20 past tradition, the host can invite non-member countries to participate in some meetings during the summit as observers. Perhaps Jokowi’s intention to invite Zelensky is similar to Germany’s invitation to Jokowi at the G7 summit. After all, the G20 economy accounts for about 85% of the world’s total. Of course, Jokowi wants to take this opportunity to prove the country’s diplomatic and leadership.
The G20 summit, which was originally the main topic of the economy, is a highlight stage for Indonesia, whose economy is expected to grow by 4.5% to 5.2% in the first quarter of this year. However, the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war has made the formulation of the G20 invitation list. , has become the primary link that Jokowi needs to worry about.
The more realistic challenge is that if Putin and Zelensky both attend the meeting in person, the latter will of course create an image of being willing to engage with other countries on such an international occasion, but in a state of wartime hostility, the former will probably refuse. Attend any event where Zelensky is present; on the other hand, U.S. President Biden, who has a sharp relationship with Putin, also requires the host to think carefully about the issues to be avoided; also, it is necessary to consider that after Zelensky is present, some countries initiate a boycott behavior, or the possibility of reassigning a lower-level delegation to the meeting—how to design the process of the summit to avoid the “confrontation” of these focal figures has been a headache for a while.
For those who are looking forward to peace, the ideal situation is that, as the leader of this year’s G20 rotating presidency, Jokowi’s visit can bring both sides of the war back to the negotiating table. One fact is that although the previous rounds of negotiations have achieved limited substantive results, if the two sides of the conflict do not engage in dialogue and diplomatic mediation, the possibility of ending the war is hard to say; , at least to come up with relevant plans to curb the further escalation of the war.