Analysts have pointed out that Widodo’s government is stuck with the impossible task of attempting consensus on the world’s most pressing economic problems while navigating new geopolitical rivalries triggered by Putin’s invasion.
While Moscow was kicked out of the Group of Eight (G-8), now known as the Group of Seven (G-7), following its 2014 annexation of Crimea, the G-20 is a much wider grouping with many more competing interests. It includes China, which supports Russian involvement.
“I think Indonesia is trying to split the baby here,” said Gregory Poling, who researches US foreign policy in the Asia Pacific at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“They don’t want the US and other members of the G-7 to not show up. They also don’t want to be put in the position of disinviting Putin,” he told VOA.
After meeting with NATO members and European allies in Brussels last month, US President Joe Biden suggested Kyiv be able to attend G-20 meetings as an observer should other members disagree to kick Russia out.
Biden, who is building a global coalition against Putin beyond Europe, has not said he would boycott the G-20 summit should the Russian leader attend, but insists the forum cannot be "business as usual." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have also raised concerns about Putin’s participation.
Earlier this month, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen skipped several G-20 ministerial meetings to protest Russian officials’ attendance. Other Western officials did the same.
Jakarta’s dilemma is symptomatic of Moscow’s considerable influence around the world, including its energy and military ties with Indonesia.