What should Indonesia do in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

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President Jokowi
Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (Source: THE PRESS BUREAU OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT)

Jakarta, IO – The Russian-Ukrainian invasion had a major impact on world stability, which is currently in the recovery phase due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The war that has taken more than a month has drained the attention and sympathy of the world. This war also had a big impact on the world economy, this was inevitable because the two countries involved in the war were big countries and their allies. Regardless of what is happening at the moment, the polarity of the world is divided into three, namely countries that are pro-Ukraine and criticize Russia, countries that are pro-Russian and criticize Ukraine who intend to join NATO, while the last country is a country that does not take sides. both of them. Countries that choose to side with one party, clearly understand the threats that will be faced, but countries that do not side with one of the two may face greater risks and threats. 

On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation against Ukraine, which Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba described as a “full-scale invasion.” The incident has caused global anxiety and a security dilemma. President Joko Widodo, speaking for Indonesia, has stated unequivocally that all parties engaged must display restraint and that war must not arise. 

The attitude of President Jokowi exemplifies the philosophy of Indonesian diplomacy, which adopts a free and active foreign policy. In accordance to Law No. 37 of 1999, indicates that Indonesia is free to define its attitude without being linked to one of the world’s political axes and is actively involved in resolving global disputes. 

Read: Russia-Ukraine War: Why Nuclear in Japan needs to be Considered

In practice and theory, Indonesian foreign policy is primarily affected by its historical situation and the international order at the time of Indonesian independence and beyond. Prior to independence, Indonesia was a competitor for Japan and the Netherlands. As a result, this has an influence on Indonesian perceptions of its foreign policy. As a result, Indonesia’s foreign policy is based on the principle of “Free and Active.” This implies that Indonesia is no longer bound by the West and East blocs that existed during the Cold War. However, Indonesia also desired to be active on the world stage by hosting the Bandung Conference and participating in international forums in order to strengthen Indonesia’s legacy. 

Apparently, Indonesian foreign policy based on the notion of Free and Active has resulted in present Indonesian foreign policy being classified as middle power diplomacy. Indonesia is currently playing an active role in the international arena, participating in global forums such as the G20 and multilateral cooperation such as ASEAN. Furthermore, public opinion has influenced and impacted Indonesian foreign policy. Thus, in order to build Indonesian foreign policy in today’s world, the relationship between public opinion and media must be absolutely solid. 

In numerous incidents of regional and global conflict, the Indonesian government has consistently appealed for peace between opposing groups, without blaming or backing with either. However, given the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it appears that Indonesia must likewise prepare for the security implications that may arise, while simultaneously searching for loopholes that might be “utilized” in terms of economic ramifications.