Indonesia and Russia on Friday signed an extradition deal that they say will help fight cross-border crime and mark a turning point in their relations.
The treaty – Indonesia’s first extradition deal with a European country – was signed by Indonesia’s Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Russia’s Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko.
Chuycenko said the deal is key to advancing bilateral ties.
“With this signed treaty, we now have a legal basis for our crime-fighting cooperation, and it will be systematic and productive in the future,” Chuychenko said after the signing ceremony on the resort island of Bali.
Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have fled to Bali since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russians were the second largest group of visitors to Bali last year, after Australians, and their numbers are expected to continue to increase.
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As Russia faces mounting sanctions from Western nations over its invasion, it has sought to strengthen ties with Asian and African nations it sees as non-hostile. According to the Russian embassy in Jakarta, Putin has offered Russian Railways to invest in Indonesia’s new capital on the island of Borneo and help Russia build a $22 billion refinery in East Java, among other things.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Moscow and Kiev last year in an unsuccessful attempt to facilitate peace talks between their leaders.
Chuychenko said he and Laoly have agreed to continue collaborating on legal and judicial matters and plan to sign agreements on cybersecurity and digital cooperation during an international legal forum in St. Petersburg on May 11-13.
In 2016, Widodo denied a Russian request for the extradition of six detained Russian nationals, including a woman who smuggled drugs into Indonesia and was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison for the lack of an extradition agreement.
Laoly said the new extradition deal sends a strong signal to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
“This agreement helps us take legal action to extradite perpetrators of transnational crime and corruption,” Laoly said.
Source : www.foxnews.com