The two-year-old male was found drugged inside a rattan basket when Andrei Zhestkov was stopped at security at Denpasar airport on Friday night.
Mr Zhestkov is said to have told officials he was given the primate by a friend who bought it for $3,000 .
Orangutans are a protected species and Mr Zhestkov could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
“The Russian also had injections and drugs in his bag. He said he planned to re-administer the drugs when they transited” in South Korea, Dewa Delanata, from the airport’s quarantine office, told the Jakarta Post.
Two live geckos and five lizards were also found in the passenger’s luggage.
According to the authorities, Mr Zhestkov, 27, said he was convinced by his friend, also Russian, that it would be okay to take the orangutan back to Russia to keep as a pet.
The animal is being looked after by the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency.