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Jakarta Post

Russia-Indonesia 70 years on: Some like it hot, cold or warm

  • Julia Suryakusuma

    Author of Julia’s Jihad

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 19 2020   /  01:43 am
Old friends: Painter and curator Vladimir Anisimov gestures in front of a photograph of first president Sukarno and then-Soviet Union prime minister Nikita Kruschev at an exhibition held to commemorate 70 years of Indonesia-Russia ties at Jakarta’s National Gallery on Feb. 3. (Antara/Dodo Karundeng)(Antara/Dodo Karundeng)

Old friends: Painter and curator Vladimir Anisimov gestures in front of a photograph of first president Sukarno and then-Soviet Union prime minister Nikita Kruschev at an exhibition held to commemorate 70 years of Indonesia-Russia ties at Jakarta’s National Gallery on Feb. 3. (Antara/Dodo Karundeng)“Jauh di mata, dekat di hati [Out of sight, close to the heart].” This is how Lyudmila Georgievna Vorobieva, Russian ambassador to Indonesia, characterized the relationship between the two countries. In fact, in the 70 years of the relationship, it has gone through different states of proximity. It was pretty “hot” even before and around independence in 1945 when being leftist was identical with an anti-imperialist stance — and certainly during Sukarno’s presidency (1945 to 1967). Then, abruptly, with the annihilation of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in 1965 after a now-la...