G20 – summit of peace? Indonesia as a mediator in Ukraine-Russia peace talks

Indonesia has assumed presidency over G20, uniting 20 biggest economies of the world. The country in Southeastern Asia has political ambitions to become a regional leader and utilizes the opportunity to secure its position. In such circumstances, the Russian war against Ukraine draws more attention from the Indonesian leadership. This culminated in two visits Joko Vidodo, the country’s president, has made this summer. On June 29th he arrived to Kyiv, for the first time after the large-scale invasion, and met with Volodymyr Zelensky. Subsequently, on July 4th he visited Moscow and had a meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Indonesia has demonstrated particular interest in finding the solution to the food crisis, provoked by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and blockade of Ukrainian ports. This interest is among the key drivers behind Vidodo’s visits, however, not the only one.

As the G20 summit, scheduled for November, approaches, Indonesia is actively preparing for it. As the meeting of G20 ministers of foreign affairs in Bali, which may be considered one of the important preparatory stages, has demonstrated, Russian representative Sergey Lavrov was not welcome and left the event early. G20, therefore, is being planned in the atmosphere of uncertainty and tension.

Mediating efforts are additionally complicated by the insufficient understanding of the context of Russian war, its historical roots and neocolonial nature. Indonesia, as many countries in Southeastern Asia, has generally low level of expertise on the region, while Ukraine has not been active enough in developing communications and performing advocacy on its behalf. The predominant paradigm of regional perception is still rooted in the Cold War views, and imperialism is first and foremost understood in the context of the USA, but never the USSR and Russia. Ukraine In Flames#129 outlines these key problems that define Indonesian position on the war.


  • Dr Nigel Gould-Davies, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Igor Semyvolos, executive director of Association of Middle East Studies
  • Alina Hrytsenko, Senior Consultant National Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Nataliya Butyrska, Asia-focused expert on international relations.

UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by Ukraine Crisis Media CenterUkrainian Catholic University’s analitical center and NGO “Euroatlantic Course”.  We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.

If you want to support Ukraine against Russian aggression, check the link with recommendations by Ukraine Crisis Media Center – https://uacrisis.org/en/help-ukraine.

NGO Euroatlantic Course collects donations to support Ukrainian Army and civilians – https://eac.org.ua/en/main-page/.