Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the Russia-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Singapore, August 2, 2018

Thursday, 02 August 2018 13:22

Mr Chairman, colleagues, friends,

I would like to begin my introductory remarks by expressing gratitude to our Singapore hosts for their hospitality and the excellent organisation of our work.

We consider ASEAN, both the organisation itself and its member countries as like-minded allies on the world stage.

We highlight the group’s central role in regional affairs and we will support this role in every possible way. We are united by a common vision of the modern polycentric world order, by our concurring or close assessments of the ongoing processes in the world and in the Asia-Pacific region.

We support interstate communication based on international law and respect for the requirements, goals and principles of the UN Charter, such as non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states and renunciation of the use of force. The fact that we share these approaches is a good basis for pooling the efforts of Russia and ASEAN with other countries, in particular members of the East Asia Summit, to create a sustainable, inclusive and transparent architecture of security and cooperation in the region.

Today we would like to consider further steps to promote the Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership following the decision made by our leaders at the Sochi Summit in May 2016.

We welcome the development of our relations with ASEAN in all areas, including those connected with countering new challenges and threats – I mean primarily terrorism and foreign terrorist fighters. We are ready to enhance cooperation on these issues within the framework of the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum on Security.

We also welcome the upward trend in mutual trade. Last year, trade increased by more than one-third. We are going to focus on promising initiatives and projects in energy, agriculture, healthcare, small and medium-sized businesses, and the environment. A Russia-ASEAN Economics Ministers’ meeting is scheduled for the end of August, here in Singapore. I am confident that it will help us move forward in all these areas.

We will expect guests from the ASEAN countries at the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum, which will be held from September 11 to 12 in Vladivostok.

We are interested in further strengthening the ties between ASEAN and the SCO, and ASEAN and the EAEU in the context of the discussions held in Sochi in May 2016, when President Vladimir Putin proposed a new integration project, the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

We are confident that today's Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other ASEAN events here in Singapore will be successful and will help us move towards building formats of regional cooperation in all areas.

Today we will need to talk about the preparations for the ASEAN summits with its partners, the East Asia Summit, and other events to be held here in Singapore in November.

Once again, I thank you for your attention and would like to emphasise our appreciation of Laos for overseeing the partnership with Russia over the past few years. I hope that Indonesia will also provide effective and efficient management of our issues.

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