ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening ceremony of a Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to ASEAN, Jakarta, August 9, 2017
Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are attending a momentous event - the presentation of an independent Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to ASEAN. This decision taken by the Russian leadership directly follows after the agreements that were reached during the Russia-ASEAN Summit which took place in Sochi in May 2016.
The opening of our Permanent Mission once again confirms the priority of our interaction with ASEAN within the framework of our foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) as well as our commitment to further deepen the Dialogue Partnership with this Association, and to give it a strategic character as agreed by the presidents of Russia and ASEAN in Sochi.
A lot has been done in the more than 20 year long history of Russia's Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN. A high-level dialogue has been established with the leadership of the Association and its member states. Every year, meetings are held with the participation of foreign ministers of Russia and this organisation. Meetings of economic, defence, transport, culture ministers, as well as ministers in charge of law enforcement matters take place annually. Regular sectoral cooperation mechanisms in the sphere of energy, research, technology, and agriculture are being formed.
The Permanent Mission faces ambitious tasks, and probably its number one, is to ensure the effective work of the joint committee for cooperation between Russia and ASEAN. The second one, and no less important, is the promotion of the development of a tool for cooperation between permanent representatives of countries representing the East Asia Summit. This aspect of the Permanent Mission’s work takes on a special significance in connection with the fact that just a few days ago, at the Russia-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting which was held in Manila, we agreed to provide, on this venue, a regular dialogue on improving the architecture of security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region on the basis of the East Asia summits. Another aspect of the Mission’s work is to coordinate efforts to promote sector-specific projects agreed upon by Russia and ASEAN. There are about 20 initiatives in various fields, including information and navigation technologies, food security, energy, education, transport and medicine.
I hope that our Permanent Mission will focus continuously on aspects of our interaction such as humanitarian and cultural ties. We would also like the new Permanent Mission of Russia to ASEAN to promote contacts between the ASEAN Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, as well as between ASEAN and the Eurasian Economic Commission. The first contacts have already taken place, and they should be made systematic and regular.
In conclusion, I would like to introduce a person who will head our Permanent Mission to ASEAN, although he does not need any introduction. This is Ambassador Alexander Ivanov, who has for many years worked as the head of the Russian Embassy in Indonesia.