Blinken competes with top Russian officials in Indonesia – archyde

JAKARTA – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Indonesia on Monday after delivering a serious new warning to Russia about Ukraine in order to find a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Jakarta for security talks.

Just a day after joining his group of seven fellow Foreign Ministers who bluntly urged Russia to withdraw from a military escalation near the Ukrainian border, Blinken began a 48-hour visit to Indonesia with his airplane parking lot in the shadow of Putin’s national security adviser Nikolay Patrushev . Patrushev is considered the third most senior official in the Russian government.

Shortly before Blinken’s landing, the Russian embassy in Jakarta announced Patrushev’s visit. He will spend the same two days as the top American diplomat in the Indonesian capital. The timing means the Patrushev meetings will coincide with an important speech Blinken plans to deliver on Tuesday on the Biden government’s Indo-Pacific strategy.


There was no indication that the two men could meet in Jakarta. Nor was there any sign that either would acknowledge the other’s presence in Indonesia, the seat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and a major regional security actor.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry downplayed the visits to the duel. “Coincidentally, your arrival time in Indonesia coincided,” said Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.

Blinken met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday afternoon before a slew of events including the speech began on Tuesday. The Russian embassy announced that Patrushev’s main interlocutor in Indonesia was the Minister of Law and Security, Mohammad Mahfud.

Blinken traveled to Jakarta from a meeting of the Group of Seven Foreign Ministers in Liverpool, England, where he and his counterparts called on Russia on Sunday to “de-escalate” its military build-up near the Ukrainian border.


The G-7 called on Russia to “de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels and comply with its international obligations regarding the transparency of military activities” and praised Ukraine’s “reluctance”.

In a joint statement, the ministers warned that “any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited by international law. Russia should have no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and high costs in response. “

The statement came after President Joe Biden spoke to Putin on a video call last week saying he had made it clear that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would have “devastating” consequences for the Russian economy.

Moscow denies attacking Ukraine and accuses Kiev of allegedly aggressive intentions of its own.

Ahead of Blinken’s current trip, which at eight days will be his longest overseas trip since taking office, Foreign Ministry officials expected his focus to shift from Russia’s challenges to China’s when he moved to Southeast Asia from the G7 meeting in Liverpool worldwide.


It was not immediately clear whether Patrushev’s presence in Indonesia would change that. In Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, Blinken would like to highlight the importance of ensuring free navigation in the South China Sea, which many of China’s neighbors have accused Beijing of interfering with.

During his meeting with Widodo, Blinken expressed “support for Indonesia’s leadership in the Indo-Pacific as the third largest democracy in the world and a strong proponent of the rules-based international order,” the State Department said.

Blinken also plans to voice deep US concerns over developments in Myanmar, where a military junta took over shortly after the Biden government took office. Last week, a court in Myanmar found democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was de facto overthrown in a coup in February, guilty of two charges. The trial has been widely criticized as another attempt by the country’s military rulers to reverse the democratic gains of recent years.


While Blinken is visiting Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Patrushev will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. One of Blinken’s senior officials, Derek Chollet, State Department advisor, was in Cambodia last week after the US imposed an arms embargo on the country.


Associate press journalist Edna Tarigan contributed to this.

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