Vietnam values the ASEAN – Russia partnership and is making efforts for the substantive and effective development of the ties, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.
Dung made his statement while attending the 15th ASEAN-Russia Senior Officials' Meeting in Moscow on May 17 and 18.
Speaking on behalf of ASEAN member countries on farming and energy cooperation between the bloc and Russia, the Vietnamese official said both sides are interested in the sectors which have potential for partnership.
With its strength in terms of technology, Russia can strengthen affiliations with ASEAN in gas and oil, electricity, atomic energy for civilian use and renewable energy, and energy security.
Concerning agriculture, he said both sides should facilitate the trade of produce of their strength, such as Rusia’s meat, butter, and temperate climate fruit, and ASEAN countries’ tropical fruit, nuts, tea and coffee.
Dung recommended ASEAN firms invest in Russia’s agricultural processing industry, following the examples of Vietnam’s TH True Milk company and Thailand’s CP Foods.
Talking about regional and international affairs, Dung underscored positive changes but acknowledged potential security risks, including the East Sea issue.
He called on ASEAN and Russia to boost engagements at ASEAN-chaired frameworks and make efforts to build an open, transparent and rule-based regional architecture.
He mentioned ASEAN and China’s efforts in conducting result-oriented negotiation for an effective and legal binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea, and expressed the hope that Russia will work with ASEAN in handling challenges to regional peace and stability.
At the meeting, ASEAN member countries and Russia noted with satisfaction positive developments in bilateral cooperation, particularly the outcomes of implementing the ASEAN – Russia Action Plan for 2016 – 2020.
They reiterated the importance of their progressive and comprehensive partnership and agreed to bolster joint efforts to elevate the ties to a strategic partnership.
Russia said that ASEAN is among the most successful regional blocs and affirmed its support for the bloc’s central role in the region. The Russian side pledged to involve deeper in ASEAN mechanisms, like the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, and ASEAN Plus Defence Ministers Meeting.
The ASEAN side said they believe in Russia’s consistent diplomatic policy toward the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia, and welcome the country’s contribution to peace, stability and cooperation in the region.
The sides agreed to enhance their coordination at ASEAN-led frameworks and forums and build mutual trust to address emerging challenges.
They said they will stimulate affiliation in a number of sectors, including trade-investment, regional connectivity, infrastructure development, tourism, education, people-to-people exchange, and anti-terrorism.
As such, they planned to organise the ASEAN-Russia Youth Summit in the Philippines this year as well as a business dialogue and ASEAN- Russia education forum as part of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok in September.
Courses in Russia on capacity building for the prevention of terrorism, drug and cybercrime, which train security officers in ASEAN, were also scheduled to take place.