Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting took place virtually on August 4 as part of the ongoing 54th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 54) and Related Meetings.
Speaking at the event, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov stated Russia values its strategic partnership with ASEAN and supports the bloc's centrality in the regional structure.
Russia will continue providing COVID-19 vaccines for ASEAN member states and is willing to transfer related technologies and expand vaccine production in Southeast Asia, he noted, adding that further training programmes for ASEAN medical experts and staff will also be held.
On behalf of ASEAN , Indonesia -the country coordinator of the ASEAN-Russia relations- lauded growing ties between the sides since 2018 when they officially became strategic partners.
ASEAN nations highly valued the outcomes of the Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers ‘ Meeting in July, which helped promote the bilateral relations and the sides' effort in COVID-19 response and boost recovery. They praised Russia's proposal to hold the fourth ASEAN-Russia Summit to mark their 30 years of ASEAN-Russia ties and 25 years of partnership within the framework of the ASEAN Summit in this October.
ASEAN and Russia agreed to prioritise cooperation for pandemic response and comprehensive recovery. The bloc asked Russia to continue its assistance for the enhancement of ASEAN's capacity regarding preventive medicine, as well as supply and help ASEAN member states to be self-sufficient in vaccines.
Russia hoped the two sides to continue coordinating at multilateral forums in the Asia-Pacific region, expanding cooperation between ASEAN mechanisms with such frameworks as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Russia proposed to announce 2022 as the ASEAN-Russia year of scientific, technological and industrial cooperation; and informed that the first ASEAN-Russia dialogue will be held on issues related to IT and communication security in late 2021.
Speaking at the meeting, the head of the Vietnamese delegation highly appreciated Russia’s proactive and active role in promoting cooperation in response to emerging challenges to regional stability and development, and welcomed Russia's willingness for vaccine technology transfer and production expansion for other nations.
The official encouraged ASEAN and Russian businesses to increase exchanges and connection, and effectively utilise the potential of economic cooperation between the two sides, supported the consideration of building a free trade area between the bloc and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the coming time, on the basis of existing FTAs between the EAEU and each ASEAN member country, including Vietnam and Singapore.
Vietnam wished Russia further support and make contribution to building mutual trust and respect for international law regarding relations between nations
Vietnam also affirmed its support for high level exchanges between ASEAN and Russia, including the ASEAN – Russia Summit in October.
Concluding the meeting, Cambodia officially took over the role of coordinating the ASEAN – Russia ties for 2021- 2024 from Indonesia./.
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