Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, Jakarta, July 6, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear representatives of the media,
We are very much satisfied with the exchange of views and opinions on the broad range of issues of mutual interest which we have just finalised.
Indonesia is one of the key partners of Russia, especially in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). Last year we commemorated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations and they continue to develop in a very constructive manner.
Today we highly appreciated the bilateral cooperation. We established confidential political dialogue including at the highest level. We strengthened contacts in the areas of security, trade, investment, humanitarian cooperation and others.
We are coordinating our activities in international affairs and decided today to continue to intensify all those areas of our interaction. As my good friend and colleague said we have been finalising the declaration which would register the existing fact that our relations are relations of strategic partnership. Hopefully soon our leaders can meet and sign this important document.
We discussed our economic cooperation in depth. We are satisfied that despite the coronavirus infection the first four months of this year saw a considerable increase in the volume of trade – almost 25 percent. We confirmed our intention to continue diversifying trade including through the expansion of our cooperation in high-tech products. We mentioned energy, oil and gas, transport infrastructure, civil aviation, machine building, computer and telecommunication technologies and the halal industry as very promising areas.
We support the early convening of the 13th meeting of the Russian-Indonesian Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation. We strongly supported the negotiations which have been launched between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union on the creation of the free trade area.
We agreed to expand our links in the area of education. I can assure you that all the problems which are being experienced by the students who study in Russia not only from Indonesia, but from many other countries, will be resolved as we move to normalise the situation with the coronavirus infection in the countries of origin and of course in the Russian Federation. We will welcome, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, a resumption of the practice of days of Indonesian culture in Russia and will be assisting the Embassy of Indonesia in Moscow in all possible ways.
We would also like to promote cooperation between the scientific communities of the two countries, between the regions of Russia and Indonesia, and between our foreign ministers, including the training facilities of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Institute of Education and Training of our Indonesian friends.
As you witnessed, we have signed the plan of consultations between our ministries for the next two years, which certainly indicates the intention to deepen coordination and to make it more specific.
We discussed at length the cooperation aimed at fighting the coronavirus infection. Our positions are basically the same. We are convinced – both Russia and Indonesia – that vaccines must be accessible for the entire international community. We support the respective initiatives of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We confirmed our readiness to closely cooperate with Indonesia (also in bilateral contacts), including the possibility not only of supplying vaccines but also to discuss localisation of their production on Indonesian soil.
We support the foreign policy of Jakarta which is based on respect for international law. This is what Russia believes should be done by all countries and certainly, as I have said, we will continue our coordination in various international settings, including the UN and its specialised bodies.
We discussed today in very practical terms such a topical area of the international agenda as international cybersecurity. We are developing a bilateral document – a Russian-Indonesian agreement – on cooperation in the cybersecurity area. We also coordinate closely in discussing this topic on the agenda of the ASEAN Regional Security Forum and in the UN where earlier this year an important consensus was reached to launch effective intergovernmental negotiations to try to develop an international convention on the rules of responsible behaviour by each country in the area of international information security. Another document which it was agreed would be subject to negotiations in the UN was a convention to fight cybercrime, criminal activities in cyberspace.
We discussed specific regional situations, first of all the problems in the Middle East and North Africa with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which we believe must be resolved on the basis of the existing UN Security Council and General Assembly decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We discussed the situation in and around Afghanistan and in Myanmar. We reiterated our strong support for the ASEAN “five principles.” In our contacts with the Myanmar military leaders we promote the position of ASEAN which, in our view, should be considered as a basis for resolving this crisis and bringing the situation back to normalcy. We briefed our Indonesian friends about our messages which we send to Naypyidaw in line with the principles developed by ASEAN.
We discussed the situation in Asia-Pacific and underlined that there was no alternative to the principles of ASEAN centrality, the unacceptability of the attempts, which we unfortunately witnessed, to create some parallel mechanisms in the region to dig dividing lines with the active participation of non-regional players who do not intend to follow the principles which have been established by ASEAN and other partners over the last several decades.
We are grateful to our Indonesian friends for having served as the coordinator of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue platform for the last three years. This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the relations between Russia and ASEAN and the 25th anniversary of the launch of the strategic dialogue with the Association.
Later this afternoon we will hold a videoconference with the ministers of foreign affairs of Russia and ASEAN focusing on the ways and means to promote our strategic partnership.
I have invited Retno Marsudi to come again to Russia and I hope this can be done not far from now.