President Joko Widodo and President Vladimir Putin in 2018. Kremlin photo.

In 2022, Indonesia holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) a forum of 19 of the world’s major economies along with the EU. Indonesia has assumed the presidency at a time when the forum is bitterly divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – in April, western finance officials walked out of a G20 meeting when Russian delegates were speaking. Facing calls to exclude Russia from the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali in November, Indonesia instead opted to extend an invitation to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, despite Ukraine not being a member of the group.

Indonesia’s priority issues for its G20 presidency are global health architecture, sustainable energy transition, and digital transformation, under the overall rubric of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”. But what effect will the war in Ukraine have on Indonesia’s ability to pursue this agenda? How might the presence in Bali of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Zelensky – if both men attend – shape the leaders’ summit? How important, in any case, is the G20 to the Indonesian government, and to powerful political and business interests in the country?

In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae chats with Dr I Gede Wahyu Wicaksana, senior lecturer in the Department of International Relations at Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya.

In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the University of Melbourne, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


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