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6 July 202113:42

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks at the Special Russia-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Jakarta, July 6, 2021

1357-06-07-2021

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Dear Madam Co-Chair,

Dear Mr Secretary General,

Dear colleagues and friends,

I am really glad to welcome all of you and to be personally present in Jakarta during these not very easy times, when the coronavirus pandemic is limiting our interaction and our direct contacts. First of all, I would like to thank our Indonesian coordinators for the excellent organisation of this hybrid meeting, including this videoconference, and my thanks also go to the Brunei Chairmanship of ASEAN for the support we have been feeling all these days.

2021 is a special year. It is the year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Russia-ASEAN relations and the 25th anniversary of our full-scale dialogue partnership, which in 2018 was elevated to the strategic partnership level. During that period, we have been able to build a quite considerable system and network of mechanisms of cooperation, which allows us to move forward in cooperation in various directions - in the field of politics and security, economics and socio-cultural links, and more.

Despite the fact that the last year and a half have not been very easy, we have managed not just to sustain the existing level of our cooperation, but also to take some steps to expand it and to create new channels of interaction.

Humanitarian contacts continued to develop, including the activities of the Network of Russia-ASEAN Think Tanks, which was concentrated on such topical issues as regional architecture, post-crisis economic recovery, counterterrorism and so on. We hope that the epidemiological situation will eventually allow us to convene, in the foreseeable future, the 6th Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation, in the city of Kazan.

Today we are supposed to assess the progress achieved over the past three decades of our relations and to discuss the prospects for their further development.

In the situation in the world, which geopolitically is very unstable, which is affected by the aggravation of both traditional and new threats and challenges, we consider the Association as a very reliable and predictable partner, a strategic partner in international affairs. We are ready for an open dialogue on the entire spectrum of topicalproblems on the global and regional agenda. We believe that it is especially important these days to try to develop common approaches by Russia and ASEAN to the tasks on that agenda.

I count on a very frank and constructive dialogue today in the spirit of our strategic partnership and thank you once again.

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