No : 26/SK-KontraS/X/2022
Subject : Concerns about the Invitation of the Russian President to the G20 Summit
To : Ir. Joko Widodo, President of Republic of Indonesia
Dear Excellency, President Joko Widodo
at Istana Merdeka
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara, Gambir, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10110
The Commission for The Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – is a human rights non-governmental organization based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Through this letter, we express our concern regarding the invitation of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to the G20 Summit.
We regret the attitude of the Indonesian government, which insists on continuing to invite Mr. Putin to the G20 Summit, which will be held in November 2022. We consider this a permissive action for the current situation, namely the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. This invasion is a continuation of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia that has been going on for a long time. This certainly harms citizens residing in Ukraine. Many victims, including women and children. At least there are 29,916 fatalities, 53,616 non-fatal injuries, and approximately 14 million people have to be displaced.
In the invasion carried out by Russia in Ukraine, Russia is strongly suspected of having violated the United Nations Charter regarding the prohibition of aggression by using force to invade Ukraine, especially with the alleged war crimes, which destroyed civilian housing and vital objects that were the targets Russian war operations against Ukraine. Russia claims that the attack against Ukraine is a form of self-defense. However, Russia’s claim is not based on applicable international law because the attack did not meet the requirements of necessity and proportionality.
Russia’s attacks on areas with densely populated populations and do not differentiate between combatants and civilians also raise strong suspicions that Russia has committed war crimes. Therefore, Russia has an international responsibility to punish the perpetrators and provide reparations to Ukraine. Due to this incident, Indonesia, as a country that is active and upholds human rights values and as a member of the Human Rights Council, should be able to respond firmly and give deep attention to the situation above.
The G20 Summit is a summit that will discuss economic growth around the world. The events caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine have caused the world economy, especially Ukraine, to experience a shock. Several world leaders have also criticized this action. Earlier, United
States President Joe Biden said he supported expelling Russia from the G20 group. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Putin should be barred from attending the G20 summit in Bali in November. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has conveyed that Putin’s presence will be a barrier to productivity at the G20. Meanwhile, Indonesia is neutral and believes that the meeting at the summit can reconcile the two parties.
Indonesia, which has always been neutral in conflicts that occur abroad, is not an appropriate implementation of the principle of a ‘free and active’ foreign policy. What is meant by ‘free and active’ according to the explanation of Article 3 of Law no. 37 of 1999 concerning Foreign Relations is a foreign policy which in essence is not a neutral policy, but a foreign policy that is free to determine attitudes and policies towards international problems and does not bind itself a priori to one world power and actively contributes, either in the form of thoughts and active participation in resolving conflicts, disputes and other world problems, for the realization of world order based on freedom, eternal peace and social justice. Therefore, this permissive action is not following Indonesia’s free and active foreign policy objectives.
This permissive action is not the first time. Previously, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met with Myanmar’s Junta Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin. The meeting is hoped to lead to peace between the two parties. However, unfortunately, the meeting that was held proved ineffective If we see through the reality on the ground, the conflict in Myanmar continues to this day. This action is futile, considering it is not easy to lower the ego of the Myanmar Junta Leader. This should set a precedent for the Indonesian government not to repeat the same mistakes. We are afraid that this will happen when Indonesia still invites Mr. Putin to the G20 agenda. In addition, the aggression carried out by Russia has caused severe human rights violations for affected residents, so the resolution is not through a summit, but the applicable judicial mechanism and the international community collectively applies the principle of Responsibility to Protect by taking into account the three pillars of these principles.
Therefore, we ask President Joko Widodo to:
can act more actively in resolving cases of gross human rights violations, both in Indonesia and abroad.
1. Erick Thohir, Minister of State Owned Enterprises