Russia & Indonesia: Old friends from the East

(photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The Russian Federation, formerly known as the Soviet Union (or USSR) has a historically unique relationship, cooperation and diplomatic relations with Indonesia, particularly during the Era of the First Indonesian President, Soekarno. This is because the relationship between Indonesia and Russia has a long history, and experienced ups and downs. The closeness of the two countries was influenced ideologically in the early days of Indonesian independence, and later the rise of the New Order regime influenced the dynamics of Indonesian foreign policy.

During the New Order period, the Indonesian government tended to freeze all forms of cooperative relations with the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War era began to change the map of international politics and how it affected the situation in Indonesia. In the Post-Reformation era, the normalization of relations between the two countries recovered and endured.

“Russian-Indonesian relations are now on the rise. The two countries have enjoyed a constructive political dialogue, fruitful cooperation in different spheres, and partner-like collaboration in international affairs. I believe that by applying joint efforts we will continue developing mutually beneficial ties between Russia and Indonesia for the benefit of our people and upholding the security and stability in Asia Pacific,” said Ambassador of Russia to Indonesia, H.E. Lyudmila Georgievna Vorobieva, during the interview (16/8)

The Ambassador explained how their priority for this cooperation is every sphere of mutual interest with no exception, as well as the search for new points of convergence. “Today we have achieved cooperation between the national parliaments, in the defense area, international information security and fighting terrorism, developing trade and economic contacts to achieve a target set by the Presidents of Russia and Indonesia to reach 5 billion US dollars turnover,” said Ambassador.

The Ambassador also defined Indonesia as a unique country, and also one with much in common with Russia in the sphere of culture. “It is not only the largest archipelago in the world, but also a nation with rich culture, history, cuisine and, most importantly, friendly and hard-working people,” she said.

She added that nowadays more and more Russians are visiting Indonesia as tourists. The island of Bali is a special favorite. The Annual Indonesian Festival is in Krasnaya Presnya Park, Moscow, have gained wide popularity among Russians. The 2019 Festival held on August 2-4 was attended by more than 140,000 guests.

“The most distinctive aspect is a caring attitude towards culture and traditions, a willingness to preserve and promote them, as well as providing peaceful coexistence for different religions, ethnicities and languages,” she added.

Lyudmila defined her hope for extended relations between Moscow & Jakarta. “The potential is enormous. In 2020, Russia and Indonesia will be celebrating 70 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, a historical moment that should be considered with wisdom. Hopefully, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin will have a chance to visit Indonesia within the next year and to sign a Declaration of Strategic Partnership together with President Joko Widodo,” she stated. (Raihan)