Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Russian Federation concurrently the Republic of Belarus, M. Wahid Supriya, has been awarded the Visiting Professor of International Relations from National Research Tomsk State University (TSU) to coincide with the 140th anniversary of the university.

The award was given by the TSU for the contribution of Ambassador Wahid in the field of international relations, especially in developing cooperation between Indonesia and Russia, according to information received by Antara here on Sunday.

Wahid Supriyadi becomes the first foreign ambassador to receive the award,

The awarding ceremony was attended by TSU President Georgiy Mayer along with teaching and administrative staff members, as well as students.

The Rector of Pattimura University, Ambon, was also present at the event.

In his remarks, Mayer said Ambassador Wahid not only applied the standard forms of work in developing relations between Indonesia and Russia, but some new steps that could provide significant and real results.

"Tomsk State University is happy and proud to see Ambassador Wahid Supriyadi as a guest lecturer," Mayer said.

After the awarding, Ambassador Wahid gave a public lecture entitled "Indonesia-Russia: From Image Building to Practical Cooperation", saying that one of the challenges faced by Indonesia and Russia was image building.

According to Ambassador Wahid, most of the world community, including Indonesia, still considers Russia as a continuation of the Soviet Union that applies communism with a closed society.

The organization of the 2018 World Cup in Russia has changed the perception of many people in the world about Russia, including Indonesians.

On the contrary, as the largest Muslim country with the fourth largest population and the 15th economic power in the world, Indonesia is less well known.

Generally, the world community, including Russians, knows Bali better than Indonesia.

The Ambassador conveyed various steps which have been taken to bring relations between Indonesia and Russia closer. One of which is by holding an Indonesian Festival in Moscow which has taken place three times.

"I am sure the Indonesian Festival can narrow the distance of misunderstanding and misperception between the two nations and the people-to-people relationship as an Indonesian proverbs say, "if we do not know each other, then we cannot love"," he said.

In the 2017 festival, the trade value between Indonesia and Russia increased by 25 percent to USD3.27 billion. In addition, the number of Russian tourists visiting Indonesia increased by 37 percent to 110,500 people, and the number of Indonesian tourists traveled to Russia was around 20 thousand people.

Ambassador Wahid explained that long before Indonesia declared its independence, youth groups from various regions in Indonesia gathered in Batavia (now Jakarta) to declare "Youth Pledge" on October 28, 1928.

This oath affirms their commitment to owning one nation, one homeland and one language, namely, Indonesia.

"The issue of having one language has been resolved by the people of Indonesia long before the independence day, even though around 40 percent of Indonesians speak Javanese," he said.

TSU is one of Russia`s oldest universities founded in 1878 and is the First Siberian Imperial University.

TSU is ranked 277th in 2018 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings.

Cooperation between universities is one of the collaborations developed by Indonesia and Russia.

Rectors from the University of Indonesia (UI), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), Diponegoro University, and Vice Chancellor of the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS), as well as representatives of Udayana University visited Russia on September 3-8, 2018.

Those Indonesian universities explored cooperation with a number of universities in Russia, namely, the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MPEI), the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), and the Russian State University Gubkin of Oil and Gas.

Several cooperation agreements were signed during the visit, namely, cooperation between ITB and UI, and the Russian State Agrarian University - Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy (RSAU MTAA), as well as ITB and the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI).

Meanwhile, UGM and Udayana University have established cooperation with a number of universities in Russia.

Reporting by Zeynita Gibbons
Editing by :Libertina WA

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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