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The food crisis will be the main focus of an Indonesian peace mission to Russia and Ukraine

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - When he visits Moscow and Kyiv in the next few days, Indonesian President Joko Widodo , who is in charge ...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - When he visits Moscow and Kyiv in the next few days, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is in charge of the Group of 20 (G20), will ask Russia and Ukraine to start peace talks again and look for ways to make it easier to send grain to markets around the world.

President Widodo, also known as "Jokowi," is one of six world leaders that the United Nations chose to be "champions" of a Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG). This group was created to deal with the threat of a "unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution" caused by the war in Ukraine.

Before he left Jakarta for a meeting with the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialised nations in Germany, Jokowi said, "War needs to stop and global food supply chains need to be turned back on."

In an interview with CNBC on June 22, Jokowi said that he was committed to doing something about rising food and energy prices. The Ukraine conflict has caused shortages of food and energy, which has made inflation worse in many countries.

Even though there is a war, Russia and Ukraine food and fertiliser products need to be "reintegrated into the global market," Indonesia's foreign minister Retno Marsudi said on Sunday.

"It is important to set up a grain corridor from Ukraine and allow Russia to send food and fertiliser abroad."

Before the war, Ukraine was one of Indonesia's most important sources of wheat.

After the G7 meeting, Jokowi will go to Kyiv to meet with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and then to Moscow to talk with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin. The leader of Indonesia said he will ask Putin to stop fighting.

Jokowi's schedule has not been made public by the Indonesian state palace, but Russian state media say he will be in Moscow on Thursday.

In November, Jokowi, who is this year's chair, will hold a G20 summit in Bali. Some countries have said they will not go to the summit if Putin is there. To ease some of the tension, Indonesia has invited Ukraine to go, even though it is not a G20 member.

"The first step will be to get confirmation from both leaders that they will come to the G20 meeting in Bali," said Wahid Supriadi, a former diplomat who was Indonesia's ambassador to Russia from 2016 to 2020.

Supriadi said that Jokowi's relationship with Putin is "very good," and that Indonesia could even host the first meeting between the two countries.

He said, "It won't be simple, but it's not impossible."

Jokowi, a former businessman who became a politician and is now in his second and last term, has recently become more involved in foreign affairs, such as helping to bring peace to Myanmar after the coup there last year.

Ben Bland, who runs the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, said that it was "very unlikely" that the leaders of Russia and Ukraine would agree on anything for Indonesia.

"But as one of the world's biggest developing countries and a friend of both Russia and Ukraine, Indonesia is an important voice on the world stage."

Indonesia has a non-aligned foreign policy that it calls "independent and active." This means that it tries to stay neutral.

It is also part of a small group of countries, like Israel and India, that have close ties to the US but also talk to Russia.

Derek Grossman, a senior defence analyst at the RAND Corporation, said, "If we want to try to reach a peaceful negotiation and settlement, those are the kinds of countries that can help." However, he didn't think Jokowi would make much progress on his upcoming trip.

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