Indonesian President First Asian Leader to Visit Ukraine During War

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attend a meeting.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attend a meeting (Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service).

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, arrived in Kyiv on Wednesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He is the first Asian leader to visit since the conflict began at the end of February.

The Indonesian President arrived in Kyiv by train from Poland, where he was greeted by Ukrainian officials.

DW reports that Jokowi visited the debris of a residential complex in Irpin, outside Kyiv, before meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Indonesian president offered to take a message from Zelenskyy to Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

After his visit to Ukraine, Jokowi will travel to Moscow to meet with Putin, where he will reportedly urge the Russian leader to accept a ceasefire. Talks between the two Eastern European nations have come to a standstill, with each side blaming the other.

Jokowi’s trips to Ukraine and Russia follow his participation as a guest at the G7 meeting in the Bavarian Alps.

In this photo released by the Press and Media Bureau of the Indonesian Presidential Palace, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, and his wife Iriana, right, talk to the media near an apartment building damaged by shelling, during his visit in the town of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. (Laily Rachev, Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Prior to the war, Ukraine was one of Indonesia’s largest wheat suppliers. However, a Russian naval blockade has suspended Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea, risking a global food crisis.

Jokowi has pledged to try to resolve the rise in food and energy prices and shortages since Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“All efforts must be made to ensure Ukraine can resume exporting food,” he said in Kyiv, emphasizing the need for safety guarantees for Ukrainian food deliveries, particularly those made by sea.