Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the Russia-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Vientiane, July25, 2016
Mr Co-Chair, colleagues,
First, I would like to thank our Laotian friends for their hospitality and for organising the meeting so well. Special appreciation goes to the Laotian party for its efforts as the current ASEAN Chair and the coordinator of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership in strengthening Russia-ASEAN ties.
We are holding this meeting shortly after the 20th anniversary of Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership. On this occasion, Sochi hosted the Russia-ASEAN Summit on May 19-20, 2016, which has evoked a wide response not only in our country and Southeast Asia, but also elsewhere in the world. I suppose this is not accidental, as the agreements reached in Sochi gave a powerful impetus to the development of versatile cooperation between Russia and ASEAN and paved the way for our relations to rise to the level of strategic partnership.
This was mentioned at the summit by President Vladimir Putin, who emphasised the need to convert the available potential for cooperation into specific joint projects that would help set the stage for a strategic partnership. I expect that today our friends and I will discuss concrete steps to implement the decisions taken by the heads of state and government.
Russia and ASEAN work together effectively in the international arena. We adhere to common values and rules. We firmly and consistently uphold the central role of the Ten in regional affairs. We intend to continue to actively participate in the work of ASEAN-centric organisations seeking to promote peace and stability in the whole of the Asia-Pacific Region as well as its prosperity and sustainable growth.
I would like to emphasise that we closely coordinate with ASEAN on our work to build modern security architecture in the Asia-Pacific Region, based on the principles of equality, openness and regard for the interests of all its players.
I hope for a sincere and constructive exchange of opinions on both our Russia-ASEAN agenda and current international and regional problems.