President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a joint press conference at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow on June 30, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of the Presidential Press Bureau)

Ukraine on Jokowi’s Visit: A Good Start, but Russia Isn't Easily Persuaded

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

JULY 12, 2022

Jakarta. Ukrainian Ambassador to Indonesia Vasyl Hamianin said on Tuesday that President Joko "Jokowi '' Widodo's visit to Kyiv and Moscow was a good start, but it takes more than good words and persuasion to convince Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine.

“I must admit that I am very much satisfied [with the visit]. If anyone expected that after this historical visit that Putin would stop and the war would end, they must be fantasizing dreamers. Because peace does not come as easy as that,” Hamianin said in a virtual press conference in Jakarta.

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“However, the first, main important step of building up bridges between the aggressor and the country under attack has been made. Now it points to whether the aggressor would like to talk,” Hamianin said. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, still shows no sign of his willingness to talk to Ukraine, according to Hamianin.

“Hopefully, there is a deep understanding in [both] the Indonesian government and public that good words, persuasion, and arguments are not enough for Russia to stop,” the ambassador said.

About two weeks ago, Jokowi met with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts —Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy— at their respective palaces. In Moscow, Jokowi said he offered himself to become a communication bridge between Russia and Ukraine. 

“You cannot just resolve a very complicated issue in one visit. This was a good start. This was an exemplary visit, a leading example to the whole world [that] we should build bridges and not make wars. We should end the war, but we cannot end it right now [or] in one second,” Hamianin said.

“This is a step towards understanding who Putin is, what Russia is, and what we can do with that. Because if you were here [with] Putin, you would understand [that] just talking does not work,” he added.

President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv on June 29, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of the Presidential Press Bureau)
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv on June 29, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of the Presidential Press Bureau)

Food Storage Problem
The Russia-Ukraine war, which has already lasted for months, has ignited a global food crisis.

Ukraine reported about 20 million tons of grains were now stuck in its silos. Russia’s blockades have made it impossible for Ukraine to send out its grains to the global market. As the older grains remain sitting in silos, Ukrainian farmers could struggle to store their new crops when the harvest season comes.

“The bigger danger lies in the future when the new crops will come down and there will be no storage space,” Hamianin told the press.

The envoy then warned this food storage problem could lead to an irreversible disaster that could last a year or more. 

At the presser, Hamianin spoke of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting taking place in Bali last week. The attendees were mostly on the same page that the war was the cause of the global food crisis, according to Hamianin. 

“The only reason for all of the problems that we are facing now is the war against Ukraine. You can treat it however you want. You can try to analyze or provide reasons, but nothing can justify the war," Hamianin said.

Hamianin also gave comments about the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walking out of the G20 talks

“Perhaps [Lavrov’s walkout] was not because the Ukrainian Foreign Minister took the floor. I think it was because he was humiliated and he understood that there was no room for a terrorist state of Russia, invader, war criminal inside a respectful gathering,” Hamianin said.

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