ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai, Bangkok, July 30, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen,
As my colleague and friend, Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai has said, we hold regular meetings and today we are in Bangkok following his February visit to Moscow.
I would like to emphasise that Thailand is our oldest partner in Southeast Asia. The relations between our countries are traditionally built on the principles of mutual respect, trust and the time-tested friendship between our peoples.
We have a packed agenda, and today’s talks have confirmed this. We focused on the tasks set at the meeting of President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha in Singapore in November 2018.
We also reviewed and agreed upon further steps towards strengthening the political dialogue which is traditionally based on mutual trust.
We noted the continuing growth of mutual trade, which increased by 17 per cent and exceeded $2.6 bln in 2018. We are witnessing the continuation of this trend this year as well. We are expecting additional efforts that will help us develop bilateral economic ties during the upcoming major Russia-Thailand business forum which will take place in Bangkok in August and at the digital cooperation forum which will be held in September.
We also noted good prospects for the improvement of ties in the military and military-technical areas. Two vessels from the Royal Thai Navy have recently visited the Russian port in Vladivostok.
We welcome the active interaction in security between the staff of the security councils of our countries, as well as between law enforcement agencies in connection with such pressing issues as counteracting terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime.
We support the development of cultural ties, including the training of experts in the Russian and Thai languages, as well as tourist and cultural exchanges and contacts between young people.
We discussed in detail the current treaty and legal framework and agreed to hold a review of the numerous draft agreements that are now in the works, in order to speed up their signing.
As for the international and regional agenda, we customarily share common or similar approaches. We are thankful to our Thai friends for their customary support for Russian initiatives at the UN. We are going to improve our coordination in this organisation.
We will continue to interact in the Asia-Pacific Region in such formats as the East Asia summits, the ASEAN Regional Forum on security, and the APEC. Russia is in favour of continuing the work that began in these formats, in particular, in the format of East Asia summits in order to build a relevant architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Asia-Pacific Region, which would be oriented towards providing peace and stability for all the region’s states with no exception. This structure is being successfully formed with the ASEAN playing the leading role. We can see that some countries are trying to ‘water down’ this structure led by our ASEAN friends. We do not accept such attempts.
This year, Thailand is chair of ASEAN. We appreciate the attention that our Thai friends are paying to the development of relations with Russia in this association. Another ministerial meeting between Russia and the ASEAN will take place tomorrow. Participants in this meeting will make new decisions aimed at deepening our strategic partnership. We appreciate Thailand’s contribution to the achievement of these agreements.