Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the country was considering “all options” and could buy Russian oil alongside India and China amid soaring energy prices.
“We are always monitoring all options. [and] Of course they offer better prices,” Widodo said recently. interview I asked the Financial Times after being asked if Indonesia would actually buy Russian oil.
“I have an obligation [the] Governments must find a variety of resources to meet the energy needs of their citizens. We want to find a solution,” he added Widodo.
His comments reflect a steady rise in tensions in Southeast Asia’s largest economy since the government hiked subsidized fuel prices by about 30% earlier this month to slash the country’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit. I’m here when I’m
As a result, the price of petrol rose from around 7,650 rupiah (about $0.51) to 10,000 rupiah (about $0.67) per liter, while subsidized diesel fuel rose from $0.35 to $0.46.
At that time, Widodo Said The government was forced to raise fuel prices due to “difficult circumstances” and “wanted to keep domestic fuel prices affordable by providing subsidies, but the subsidy budget was tripled. , and will continue to grow,” he added.
Indonesia has been hit hard by rising global oil prices and the depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah currency.
However, the move sparked mass protests across the country, sometimes escalating into riots, with thousands of people taking to the streets of Jakarta and other big cities to protest the decision. He said he was confronted by police who deployed guns and tear gas. report.
Poverty hits fuel prices
Protesters argue that higher fuel prices will hurt more Indonesians, who are still suffering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is not the first time that Indonesia has witnessed riots over fuel prices. In 1998, mass protests erupted after then-President Suharto raised prices by up to 71%. 1,200 people. Suharto later resigned.
But for decades, the Indonesian government has subsidized the fuel that accounts for more than 80% of the state-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina’s turnover.
The price hike will have a dramatic impact on Indonesian households and small businesses.around it 10.1 What percentage of Indonesia’s population will be living below the national poverty line in 2021, according to the Asian Development Bank.
Meanwhile, inflation in the country has hit 4.7 percent August exceeded the central bank’s target range for the third month in a row.
The Widodo government is considering purchasing Russian oil, but if it purchases Russian oil at a price above the price ceiling agreed upon by the G7 countries of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada, You may be subject to sanctions.
The purpose of the price cap is to “limit the impact of Russia’s wars on global energy prices while reducing Russia’s revenues and reducing Russia’s ability to fund wars of aggression.”
In August, Indonesia’s tourism minister, Sandia Ga Uno, said Indonesia was being offered Russian oil at a 30% discount to international market prices and the country was considering the offer.
Naveen Athrappully and Reuters contributed to this report.