|The Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in the form of videoconference on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn attended the Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting via videoconference on Tuesday.
The event was co-chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Masudi and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Delegates discussed working together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, foster recovery and structure in the Asia-Pacific region during the meeting, which was organised to mark the 30th founding anniversary of ASEAN-Russia relations.
Speaking at the event, Sơn 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 Việt Nam always supports the enhancement of the ASEAN-Russia strategic partnership to new heights 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.
Sơn 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).
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 pushing back the spread of dangerous coronavirus variants and in regional and international efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all people 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. — VNS