Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the granting of dialogue partner status to Russia by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Following the Bangladesh-chaired 21st annual meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on November 17, Russia was granted the status of an IORA dialogue partner.
This decision confirms broad recognition of Russia’s constructive role in strengthening multilateral cooperation based on the norms and principles of international law. It also reflects the high assessment of Russia’s tangible contribution to ensuring sustainable dynamics in the development of the Indian Ocean zone. All five permanent members of the UN Security Council are now represented in the IORA (established in 1997). It has 23 full members and 10 dialogue partners.
Russia is attaching much importance to this region. The country consistently supports UN General Assembly Resolution 2832 (passed in 1971) that declared the Indian Ocean a zone of peace. Considering its dense network of sea routes, it is difficult to overestimate its importance for the global economy as well.
Russia intends to continue working (now as an IORA dialogue partner) on strengthening interconnected relationships in the Indian Ocean. Its priorities coincide with the goals and tasks of the forum in such areas as maritime security, resistance to piracy, trade and investment, prompt emergency response, tourist and cultural ties, education, science and technology.
Naturally, one of the priorities is countering the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases and cooperation on vaccines. Russia is willing to share its groundwork and experience in developing remote territories and expand humanitarian aid programmes.
At Southeast Asian summits (a forum close to IORA,) Russia has repeatedly suggested thinking about ways of developing practical cooperation between a system of interstate communication mechanisms that took shape around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific Region and multilateral associations of the Indian Ocean. This idea is still on the table. Russia is ready to discuss it with all interested parties.