ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of a photo exhibition on the 70th anniversary of Russia-Indonesia diplomatic relations, Moscow, February 4, 2020
Esteemed Mr Ambassador,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to welcome everyone to the opening of this exhibit devoted to the 70th anniversary of Russia-Indonesia diplomatic relations. Using this opportunity I would like to congratulate all those present on this important occasion.
The exhibition you are seeing today contains much material on the rich history of our bilateral cooperation, the foundation for which was laid in a distant 1950. These stands display copies of telegrams that formed the basis of our bilateral cooperation at the official level and excerpts from the correspondence of top Soviet and Indonesian leaders.
We are proud that this country made a substantial contribution to the development of a young Indonesian statehood and Indonesia’s national economy, including its transport and industrial infrastructure and helped the new state build many plants and factories and its military capability. Of course, all of this contributed to the strengthening of Jakarta’s position in the world arena.
During the past 70 years we have managed to amass unique experience in cooperation in many diverse areas, and we steadily continue developing our relations today.
I would like to mention our consistent, intensive political dialogue, including contacts at the top level. President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo met in Sochi in May 2016 and Singapore in November 2018. We maintain regular contact by telephone. Now we are scheduling new meetings at the highest level.
In addition to contact between our leaders, regular meetings are held by our ministries, including our foreign ministries, parliaments, companies and corporations.
I would like to mention the large-scale infrastructure projects in Indonesia being carried out with our leading companies, including Russian Railways and Rosneft. We have very strong prospects in agriculture, energy, transport, urban planning, innovation and high technology. The Russian-Indonesian joint commission on trade, economic and technical cooperation plays a big role in diversifying our cooperation.
We are developing a trust-based dialogue on strategic security, as well as between judicial and law enforcement bodies. Last December our countries signed a treaty on mutual legal assistance on criminal cases. We have completed our work on the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in international information security. Needless to say, we are pleased to note our progress in military and military-technical relations.
Strong humanitarian interaction, including education, tourist and sports exchanges, is strengthening the atmosphere of friendship in our relations. Over 300 Indonesian citizens are studying in Russia today. Russians have appreciated the hospitality of Indonesian resorts. The annual Indonesian festivals in Moscow and Russian cultural events in Indonesia have become a positive tradition.
I would also like to mention our close and efficient foreign policy coordination that was raised to a new level after Indonesia’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019-2020. I would also like to mention our strong contacts within the Russia-ASEAN partnership. Importantly, our Indonesian friends are acting as coordinator at present.
I know that in relying on the rich traditions of friendship and mutual understanding, we will continue cooperating to reveal a truly inexhaustible potential in our bilateral ties for the benefit of our peoples and countries and our interests in security and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region. I am confident that the current circumstances make this a natural time to say that we have reached a level of strategic partnership in our relations. I know that we will be able to announce this soon.
Let me congratulate all of you once again on this great day and wish you a good time.