Indonesian President Jokowi Says Putin to Allow Ukraine Wheat Shipments

Indonesian President Joko Widodo meets with Russian President Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shake hands with Indonesia's President Joko Widodo after press conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on Jun 30, 2022. (Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/AFP)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday, successfully negotiating Russia’s agreement to open sea routes for Ukrainian wheat exports.

Nikkei reports that President Joko, known as “Jokowi,” traveled to Ukraine and Russia this week, meeting with both leaders, with the goal of mitigating a global food crisis due to the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“I really appreciate President Putin, who has said he’ll provide security guarantees for food and fertilizer supplies from both Ukraine and Russia — this is good news,” Widodo said during a joint news conference with Putin following their meeting at the Kremlin.

Jokowi supported UN attempts to reintegrate food and fertilizer goods from Ukraine and Russia into the global supply system, including opening a Black Sea route for Ukrainian grain exports.

The UN and Türkiye have also been in talks with both countries for this particular plan.

“Food and fertilizers are a humanitarian issue … and hundreds of millions of people have been affected by disruptions of the food and fertilizer supply chains — particularly in developing nations,” Widodo said.

Putin claimed that Russia had not been blocking food exports in the past, and that Western sanctions and military aid to Ukraine had been the cause of the cutoff.

“We are ready to fully satisfy the demand of agricultural producers from Indonesia and other friendly states for nitrogen, phosphate, potash fertilizers and raw materials for their production,” Putin said, according to Russian news agency Tass.

President Widodo, who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday, delivered a message from the Ukrainian to the Russian President.

The Indonesian President says he is willing to play a role as a peace broker in an attempt to work toward a cease-fire between the two sides.

He says his country has no interest but to see the war end immediately and the supply chain for food, fertilizers, and energy revert to normal.

Prior to the war, Ukraine was one of Indonesia’s largest wheat suppliers.