Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Moscow with message from Zelenskyy

Food security and peace talks will be central to message from G20 chair during Russia meetings

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Moscow on Thursday, a day after offering to deliver a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to try to improve peace hopes.

It was not immediately clear how Mr Zelenskiy responded to the offer made by President Widodo ― also known as Jokowi ― during talks in Kyiv or whether the Ukrainian leader had any message he wished to send to Putin.

Mr Widodo arrived in the Russian capital around noon and previously said that as well as urging both sides to restart peace talks, food security and opening up channels for grain exports from the two major suppliers to global markets would be key to his message.

He has said he will urge the Russian president to agree to a ceasefire. Peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv are frozen, with each side blaming the other.

Mr Widodo is the chair of the Group of 20 nations and one of six leaders the United Nations has appointed as champions of a Global Crisis Response Group, formed to address the threat of hunger and destitution posed by the war in Ukraine.

"Even though it's very hard to achieve, I expressed the importance of a peace resolution," Jokowi said after meeting Mr Zelenskyy. "I offered to deliver a message from President Zelenskyy to President Putin, who I'll meet soon."

Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine was one of Indonesia's biggest wheat suppliers, but a Russian sea blockade has halted Kyiv's Black Sea grain exports, threatening a global food crisis.

Mr Widodo said he is committed to tackling the rise in food and energy prices and shortages since Russia's invasion.

"All efforts must be made to ensure Ukraine can resume exporting food," he said in Kyiv, underlining the need for safety guarantees for Ukrainian food deliveries, especially by sea.

Mr Widodo, who arrived in Kyiv from Poland by train on Wednesday morning, repeated an invitation for Mr Zelenskyy to attend a G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November.

He also visited the town of Irpin where Ukraine suspects Russian soldiers committed atrocities. Moscow denies the allegations.

Updated: June 30, 2022, 2:40 PM
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