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Jakarta Post

Jokowi, Putin agree to step up cooperation in battle against coronavirus

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 16, 2020   /   09:47 am
Jokowi, Putin agree to step up cooperation in battle against coronavirus Let’s talk: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Russia Summit in Singapore on Nov. 14, 2018. (Via Reuters/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had a fruitful conversation over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, during which the two leaders talked about intensifying cooperation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian Embassy in Jakarta confirmed the phone call took place through its official Twitter account @RusEmbJakarta on Wednesday, citing a previous statement issued by the Kremlin on Monday.

According to the statement, the phone call was initiated by Indonesia.

“When discussing the coronavirus pandemic, the two presidents confirmed their intention for close cooperation in the fight against the infection," the Kremlin said.

"They agreed, in particular, to step up contacts between the healthcare ministries of Russia and Indonesia."

The Kremlin also said that Putin and Jokowi touched upon current issues of developing bilateral cooperation in other areas, though the statement did not mention any specific details about the matter.

Earlier this month, Moscow donated a package of medicines to Jakarta to help the Indonesian government fight the pandemic.

The Russian embassy said on its official Facebook page that the donation was the result of interactions between Moscow and with Indonesian Health Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Home Ministry, Antara news agency reported.

According to Worldometers data, Russia recorded 24,490 confirmed coronavirus cases with 198 fatalities as of Wednesday.

The number of cases is higher than Indonesia's official count of 5,136 cases, although the death toll is far lower than the 469 fatalities in Indonesia.

The Foreign Ministry said last week that Indonesia had so far received 58 foreign aid packages from foreign governments, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector.

The ministry said it would prioritize accepting seven kinds of medical equipment, namely personal protective equipment, N95 and surgical masks, rapid testing kits, viral transfer media (Dacron swabs), ventilators and RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing with reagent and thermometers (infrared and thermal).

The State Palace was not immediately available for a comment when asked on Wednesday about Jokowi's call with Putin. However, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah confirmed the call mainly revolved around cooperation during the pandemic.