Meeting with Indonesian MFA Representatives

In August this year two policy analysts, Mrs. Joevi Roedyati and Mr. Torang Pakpahan, from the Center for Policy Analysis and Development on International Organization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia visited the ASEAN Centre in MGIMO. The purpose of their visit was to meet Russian colleagues and discuss a relatively new phenomenon in international relations: the establishment of ‘strategic partnerships’ between countries. The Indonesian and Russian experts also discussed the current state of relations between Russia and Indonesia.

This is not the first meeting of this kind between Russian and Indonesian experts. In 2010, just before ASEAN Centre was officially opened, a delegation from the Indonesian Center for Policy Analysis had already visited MGIMO. This time ASEAN Centre was represented by its Director Victor Sumsky, Professor Nikolay Maletin, Associate Professor and Senior Expert of the Centre Ekaterina Koldunova, Senior Expert of the Centre Evgeny Kanaev, and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Oriental Studies Vyacheslav Urlyapov.

Our Indonesian colleagues from the Center for Policy Analysis are currently involved in a research project titled ‘Global Issues and Indonesia’s Strategic/Comprehensive Partnership: Supporting Foreign Policy through Cooperation in Global Issues’. While discussing the issues related to this topic, both the Russian and Indonesian experts noted that there is no common understanding of the notion ‘strategic partnership’. One can posit that it refers to a state of close cooperation, but not a military alliance, between two countries. Generally the phenomenon of emerging strategic partnerships reflects new post-bipolar international realities and the desire of states to establish a flexible network of external relations, taking into account all possible foreign policy risks and hedging against them. Consequently these partnerships have tactical rather than strategic aims. However both Indonesia and Russia have official strategic partnerships which are not determined only by short-term foreign policy considerations. These partnerships are based on the complementarity of national interests, and common regional and global priorities.

Discussing the current state of Russo-Indonesian relations, the experts agreed that Indonesia and Russia have the potential to establish a strategic partnership. Both countries have similar positions concerning issues of global development. Indonesia and Russia are capable of coordinating their actions not only bilaterally but also in the Asia Pacific region and within the new global frameworks. The most prominent example of this kind is the G20 (see the commentary by Maria Monica Wihardja, CSIS, Jakarta).

However Russo-Indonesian relations require new practical forms of cooperation that will invigorate bilateral ties. Both countries need new infrastructural projects, which will not only bring Russia and Indonesia closer together, but also Russia and ASEAN as well. Enhancing economic cooperation requires more detailed legal frameworks and broader people-to-people contacts.

The experts of the ASEAN Centre and the Center for Policy Analysis agreed that there is a need to conduct more joint seminars to discuss further the issues covered during this meeting.

The ASEAN Centre



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