The Real Role of Indonesian Foreign Policy to Realize World Peace and Stability

By: Rifa Berliana Arifin

President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo or we call him Jokowi became the first non-European country’s leader  met both Rusian Putin and Ukrainan Zelenskyy since the beginning of the both coiutries conflict. So, why did Jokowi do this?

In his encounter with Zelenskyy and Putin, Jokowi has called on both countries to enter into a ceasefire. Although it is not realistic for the two countries to make peace immediately, Russia responded positively by opening the sea road for Ukraine’s wheat exports.

Not every country can do what Indonesia is doing and not all countries are able to do what Indonesia does, because only the one with good credibility can be accepted by both Russia and Ukraine.

Especially Russian. Putin may ask ‘who are you? Why should I treat you, and listen to you?’

And lately Putin has had one strange temperament. When he met the leader of a Western country like the French president, he had to sit at the end of a long table. Even the UN chief has he treated it like that.

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But Jokowi was not given such a service, meaning that Indonesia was in Russia’s ‘good book’.

Indonesia is in Russia’s ‘good book’ because (1) Indonesia has been designated neutral from the beginning of the conflict until now, and (2) Indonesia is a rising ‘potential superpower’.

Indonesia’s neighbor Singapore might not get it. Since Singapore’s reason was early showed their stance with the condemnation and blocking Russia, even though Singapore tried to propose a neutral image in the international community. Finally in the Russian, that was a ‘bad book’.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t speak out against Russia or we shouldn’t be in solidarity with Ukraine. It’s just that world politics is realistic. Every countries have to be wise in interactions with a superpower if they are to try to influence that superpower.

For Indonesians, there is one principle called “rowing between two reefs”. Politics carried out by Indonesia is like a person who is rowing a canoe, trying to prevent the boat from hitting the rocks (big power) on the surface of the sea.

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Being good at ‘balance’ in rowing, Indonesia can become a ‘freely active’ country and try to determine the world political agenda.

Jokowi’s visit this time did not want to be considered as a ‘global’ player but also aims to save the G20 session which will be held in Bali in next November.

The G20 is an annual trial of 20 countries that are the world’s largest economies. There are US, China, EU, Japan, Germany, India, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Indonesia, Saudi, Turkey, Argentina, South Africa and also Russia.

At the beginning of the conflict, Western block countries were under pressure on Indonesia to ban Russia from attending the G20. If there is no Russia, the G20 becomes the G19.

Under the G20 rules, one country gets only one-time allotment within 20 years. after this year Indonesia will get its next turn in 2042.

Jokowi also made the G20 among his legacy before his beheading ends in 2024. Various supplies are made to highlight the image of Indonesia as a rising power.

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So, Jokowi does not want the current war to interfere with Indonesia’s political agenda. Instead of listening to Western countries teach what Indonesia should do, or what should not do, it was better for Jokowi to take the initiative to become an actor of reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia.

Whether Ukraine and Russia can reconcile or not, that’s the second question. The important thing is that Jokowi has given the message that the West cannot dictate Indonesia to press Russia. In fact, Jokowi also took Ukraine up to the G20.

For this time, Ukraine and Russia are still difficult to compromise, but things may change if the son is near November.

If Russia and Ukraine manage to reach a truce by that time and both Russia and Ukraine present the G20 as a ‘goodwill’ show, indeed Indonesia will win out.

Otherwise, Indonesia has nothing to lose. Indonesia has succeeded in projecting its image and influence in the diplomacy of the great powers.(A/RA-1/P2)

Miraj News Agency (MINA)