ASEAN Secretary- General Le Luong Minh has affirmed that Russia is an important partner to the bloc.

Russia plays an important role in maintaining peace, security, stability and development in the region, the ASEAN official said when receiving new Russian Ambassador to ASEAN Mikhail Galuzin in Jakarta on March 20. The Russian diplomat presented to Minh his Letter of Credence.

Russia’s participation in ASEAN-hosted regional forums has heightened the regional grouping’s importance, Minh added, expressing his hope that the planned third ASEAN-Russia Summit in October this year would give impetus to further enhance the long standing ASEAN-Russia cooperation.

Meanwhile, Galuzin said Russia attached great importance to the multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN and it regarded ASEAN as the locomotive for economic integration in the region and beyond.

He reiterated Russia's support for ASEAN Centrality in the regional architecture.

Galuzin also said Russia would explore concrete cooperation with ASEAN in the fields of energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, food security, science and technology, combating transnational crime, counter-terrorism, and disaster management, among others.-VNA