Moscow (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s national news agency Antara has signed a cooperation agreement with Russia`s Ria Novosti to spread stories about Indonesia to Russia.

The agreement was signed by Antara`s president director Ahmad Mukhlis and Ria Novosti`s director general Nikolai D. Biryukov here on Thursday, witnessed by Indonesian ambassador to Russia Djauhari Oratmangun, Indonesian embassy`s information service head M Aji Surya and Antara`s deputy chief editor Akhmad Kusaeni.

"The cooperation was made not because of the recent Sukhoi plane crash that has made Russian media to turn to Indonesia but we in Russia also need more information about the important country in the eastern hemisphere," Biryukov said.

By quoting stories about Indonesia from Antara he said Ria Novosti would be able to tell better about Indonesia especially its economic potentials, political situation, arts and culture and tourist destinations.

"Russian people like me like visiting Bali and Raja Ampat in Papua. We have even chartered a plane together to go directly to Bali," he said while adding that Indonesia certainly is not only Bali and Papua.

Mukhlis Yusuf meanwhile said he hoped with the cooperation Indonesian people would be more informed about Russia, which is Indonesia`s old friend that has never turned away from Indonesia.

The former Soviet Union (now Russia) is one of the countries that first recognized the Indonesian sovereignty.

Mukhlis said the seeds of friendship between Russia and Indonesia did not come in the 20th century but had existed since two centuries ago.

According to Russian literature Indonesia has been known by Russian people since the 18th century through a poem about "Nusantara" (Indonesia) written by Russian poet Pushkin. At the time Indonesia was called Dutch Indies.

Even, Mukhlis said, Price Nicholas later a Russian Tzar visited Batavia (Jakarta) in the 19th century and later sent a consul general after the visit.

"This cooperation will rebuild the friendship between Indonesian and Russian people through increased reporting about the two nations," he said.

Mukhlis visited Russia to attend a World Media Summit.

Ambassador Oratmangun meanwhile said "the number of Russian tourists to Indonesia is increasing."


Editor: Suryanto
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