20:47 GMT +323 October 2019
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    ASEAN Reaffirms Russia’s Strategic Partner Role at Lavrov’s Meeting With Top Diplomats

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    ASEAN foreign ministers are in the middle of talks in Thailand’s capital Bangkok. Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov took part in the bloc’s ASEAN-Russia meeting and bilateral talks with his foreign colleagues.

    Counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and disaster management – these are the key priorities that ASEAN wants to emphasise in its cooperation with Russia. According to Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi, more than 60% of the goals set 2016 by the comprehensive 4-year plan of  cooperation between Moscow and the 10 Southeast Asian nations, have been already achieved, and her country, which is currently the chair and coordinator of the Russia-dialogue, wants to strengthen this bond even further.

    The chief Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov took part in several ASEAN-related events in Bangkok during the organisation's 52nd Foreign ministers’ meeting.  He held negotiations with his Vietnamese, Malaysian and Thai colleagues, as well as with top diplomats from other countries.

    Russia has invited Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, which will be held in September 2019. Lavrov discussed the details with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah.

    ​The host nation of this year’s ASEAN event also enjoys close ties with Moscow. Sergey Lavrov spent the first day of his visit to Bangkok talking to his Thai colleague Don Pramudwinai at the country’s foreign ministry headquarters.

    Key areas of mutual interest for the two countries are energy and infrastructure projects, agriculture, tourism and transportation.

    ​According to the Russian foreign ministry, last year trade volume between the two nations saw a 17% increase, with agricultural trade increasing by 39%.

    ASEAN - the club of 10 Southeast Asian nations, was founded in 1967. Currently, the bloc is comprised of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar.

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    Even though Russia is not part of ASEAN, it’s a member of the broader partnership framework, which has been growing since 2005, when the first Russia-ASEAN summit was held in Kuala Lumpur. In 2016 the bloc’s top officials and business leaders from member nations took part in the Russia-ASEAN summit and business forum in Sochi.

    Thailand, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, Russia-ASEAN summit, ASEAN
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