President Joko Widodo is received by his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on June 28, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the Ukrainian Embassy in Jakarta)

Jokowi Needs to Choose between Putin and Zelensky for G20 Summit 

BY :HERU ANDRIYANTO

NOVEMBER 04, 2022

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo may have to forget his ambition to present both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming G20 Summit after the latter said he would not speak in a conference in Putin’s presence.

Russia, currently under global scrutiny for its invasion of Ukraine, is a G20 member but Ukraine is not. 

Indonesia which holds the rotating G20 presidency has invited Zelensky as a guest at the summit which potentially provides a chance for possible peace talks between the warring countries.

Jokowi said earlier this week that three leaders -- most likely including Putin and Zelensky -- have yet to confirm attendance at the summit. He called Zelensky on Thursday but there is no immediate confirmation that the Ukrainian leader will participate.

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"My position, and the position of Ukraine, was that if the leader of Russia participates (in the summit), then Ukraine will not," Zelensky was quoted by local media Kyiv Independent. 

On social media posts, Zelensky mentioned the phone call from Jokowi but stopped short of confirming his attendance.

“I also spoke with the President of Indonesia today. The topic is clear - this is the G20 summit, which will begin shortly. This is our effort to prevent a food crisis. And I thank Mr. President for his support in this matter, for his positive assessment of our efforts,” he said.

A Ukrainian Embassy official in Jakarta said they are still waiting for confirmation from their president.

Jokowi is one of few world leaders to have met with Zelensky and Putin in person since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

During his trips to Kyiv and Moscow in late June, Jokowi extended the invitation to the G20 Summit in Bali scheduled for November 15-16.

He said on Wednesday that 18 world leaders have confirmed participation in the Summit.

The White House said US President Joe Biden will attend the summit. Politico reported that if Putin attends, US officials are “taking steps to ensure that the American president does not encounter his Russian counterpart in a hallway or even in a leaders’ group photo” during the two-day summit.

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