3 February 202014:15

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, Moscow, February 3, 2020

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Mr Secretary-General,

We are glad to welcome you and your delegation to Moscow. I hope your stay will be beneficial and pleasant, as was mine in Jakarta in 2017 when we opened Russia’s permanent mission to ASEAN. ASEAN is one of the most influential, authoritative and successful regional organisations.  It is the core of many multilateral associations in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Relations with ASEAN are a priority in Russian foreign policy. We consider ASEAN to be our reliable partner in building an open and well-balanced system of equitable and indivisible security. Importantly, we believe that the 10 ASEAN countries are playing the central role in this system.

We appreciate the fact that the Secretariat you head played a constructive and active role in raising Russia-ASEAN dialogue to       a strategic level in 2018.

One of the results of this achievement was the improvement of our coordination at the UN and other international venues on key regional and international issues that are vital for Russia and ASEAN, including the efforts to counter terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational crime and WMD proliferation, and to ensure arms control and information security.

In parallel, we are developing our cooperation in practical areas, including energy, the digital economy, agriculture, healthcare and environmental protection. To consolidate our versatile ties with ASEAN we are actively using the St Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Eastern Economic Forum, which are regularly attended by representatives of your states.

Last year, Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad was one of the main guests at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. We expect ASEAN representatives to attend relevant top-level events this year.

We are closely following the integration processes that are taking place in the Asia-Pacific Region. We are monitoring the analysis of these processes in ASEAN. Naturally, we see prospects in the alignment of relevant ASEAN plans with the initiative put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the ASEAN summit in 2016, notably, the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership with the participation of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the SCO and ASEAN.

I think it is symbolic that the first meeting during your visit took place at the Eurasian Economic Commission with the Chairman of its Council, Mikhail Myasnikovich. This was his first day working in this position.

I am confident that your visit will promote our strategic partnership in all areas, practical cooperation and coordination of our actions on the international stage.

Welcome.

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