Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son attended the Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in the form of videoconference on July 6.
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son
The event was co-chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Masudi and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Delegates discussed cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, foster recovery and structure in Asia-Pacific during the meeting, which was organised to mark the 30th founding anniversary of ASEAN-Russia relations.
Speaking at the event, Son said that the ASEAN-Russia partnership has been increasingly solid and trustworthy over the past 30 years and welcomed Russia’s stronger cooperation with the bloc.
He underlined that Vietnam always supports the enhancement of the ASEAN-Russia strategic partnership to a new height and appreciates Russia’s willingness to transfer COVID-19 vaccine production technology and expand production in ASEAN, and capitalise on tourism cooperation to foster recovery in the post-pandemic period.
Son asked the two sides to build trust and mutual understanding and uphold international law. The Vietnamese Minister highly valued Russia’s support for ASEAN’s efforts in creating dialogues in ASEAN-led mechanisms.
He also affirmed ASEAN’s commitment to the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and prompt completion of negotiations on an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
For his part, Lavrov stressed that Russia and ASEAN are reliable strategic partners that have collaborated with each other to effectively respond to difficulties and challenges amid uncertainties of the regional and international situation.
He also affirmed to support ASEAN’s central role in the regional structure and vowed to actively contribute to ASEAN-led mechanisms.
The Russian minister expressed his hope that the two sides would bolster coordination and practical cooperation between ASEAN’s mechanisms and frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Participants agreed to create new momentum in the bilateral ties and further promote the strategic partnership, overcome challenges of the ongoing pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts, thereby affirming the significant role of the ASEAN-Russia relationship in regional and international cooperation aspects.
They also consented to kick-start some consultation mechanisms between ASEAN and Russia. The Russian side voiced its hope to discuss further the regional structure with ASEAN.
The two sides spoke highly of the successful organisation of the first ASEAN-Russia Consultations of the High Representatives for Security Issues on June 28, and agreed to hold a dialogue on information technology security and communications issues, and to step up cooperation in disaster management.
The Russian side proposed the fourth ASEAN-Russia high-level meeting be organised in October, 2021.
The two sides emphasised the need to continue to work together in push back the spread of dangerous coronavirus variants and join hands in regional and international efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all people in the region in safely, effectively and equitably, and efficiently carry out commitments to COVID-19 response reached at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) held in last November.
Russia pledged to continue organising training programmes for medical workers and providing technical and professional assistance, test kits, medicines and vaccines for ASEAN nations in the coming time.
ASEAN members agreed to closely join hands with Russia in promoting trade and investment, maintaining regional supply chains, and fostering cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN. They also supported Russia’s proposal to bolstering tourism cooperation and issuing a joint statement in the field at the 16th EAS scheduled to take place later this year.
Participants reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability, ensuring security and safety in the region. They affirmed the necessity to increase dialogue and cooperation, build trust, uphold ASEAN-led mechanisms and multilateralism, and strengthening the rule-based regional structure in which ASEAN plays a central role.
At the end of the meeting, Russia and Indonesia issued a statement of the co-chairs./.