The Minister’s meetings
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks following talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Jakarta, August 9, 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As usual, our talks were held in a friendly atmosphere and proved quite fruitful.
We focused on reviewing efforts to implement agreements reached at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Indonesia Joko Widodo in May 2016 in Sochi. One can safely say that we have accomplished a lot, while fulfilling these agreements. First of all, this concerns more intensive political dialogue and increasing contact between various departments in the interests of expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation.
We have reviewed the implementation of large-scale investment projects being implemented in Indonesia that involve Russian companies. We have discussed some rather substantial plans of other our economic operators interested in working in this country.
We have confirmed that the goal set by our leaders and aiming to increase bilateral trade turnover to $5 billion remains very relevant. Our trade turnover is already approaching the $3 billion mark. I am confident that we will continue to move rapidly along this road. We have confirmed that the Russian Federation provides significant favourable conditions for traditional Indonesian exports, including fish and other foodstuffs.
Today, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and I agreed that we would continue to try and provide the best possible conditions for the activity of both countries’ economic operators on each other’s territory. All these issues will be discussed in detail at the regular 12th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, scheduled to be held in the Russian capital in October 2017.
We have discussed military-technical issues of mutual interest. The bilateral Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation functions in this area. Jakarta hosted the Commission’s meeting in late 2016. As we see it, the various issues that have been examined are being actively resolved. We are interested in maintaining Indonesia’s capabilities for countering any threats. Today, we discussed the common terrorist threat facing all of us.
We have many interesting projects in the humanitarian sphere. In early August, Moscow hosted yet another Indonesian festival. These events traditionally create great interest, including exchanges of teams, delegations, including those from Russian regions and Indonesian provinces. We actively support all this.
We have reviewed the state of our contractual legal framework. We are working on a number of treaties and agreements, and we have agreed to expedite the final coordination process.
We noted with satisfaction our coinciding or similar positions on most international and regional issues. First of all, Russia and Indonesia proceed from the assumption that any crises or conflict must be resolved on the solid foundation of international law, respect for the UN Charter’s regulations and principles, through political dialogue and talks, through a search for compromise and consensuses and without foreign interference. In this context, we are concerned with the continuing situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Despite certain progress in promoting a Syrian peace settlement and combating terrorism, ISIS continues to be a threat. Representatives of this criminal group are spreading all over the world, including areas close to the Russian Federation and Indonesia. Regarding cooperation between secret services, we have agreed to focus on more effectively coordinating our common efforts to combat this evil. We will expand this cooperation area with our Indonesian partners through bilateral channels and in the context of Russia-ASEAN cooperation. On Monday, we approved a statement at the Russia-ASEAN meeting which aims to combat terrorism and to increase the efficiency of these efforts.
We have discussed a number of issues regarding our cooperation within the UN on such issues as the Middle East settlement.
We are confident that it is necessary not to slacken efforts aiming to resolve the problem of establishing a Palestinian state and ensuring Palestinian unity. Russia and Indonesia are doing a lot in this area, and they are trying to help find solutions that will guarantee peace, tranquility and security in the Middle East for all countries, including Palestine.
We have similar positions on Syrian and Iraqi settlement, on the situation in the Persian Gulf and on many other issues on the international agenda.
We have reviewed issues regarding efforts to maintain the non-proliferation regime for nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We have agreed to continue our consultations on all these issues. The plan that we just signed calls for holding expert meetings on these and other issues.
We are very grateful to Indonesia for consistently supporting the Russian Federation’s cooperation with ASEAN and other organisations based on the initiatives of ASEAN, including the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum on security, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and others.
We have talked about the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Indonesia is interested in launching talks to establish a free trade zone with the EAEU. The relevant proposal has been submitted and is currently being examined. Russia supports this proposal. Among other things, we will facilitate the expansion of foreign ties of the EAEU. For example, we have discussed the advisability of involving the EAEU in APEC events on the same basis as the Pacific Alliance which is also taking part in these events.
I am grateful to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi for a very warm reception, hospitality, for useful contacts and talks.