Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov affirmed that Russian backs the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the region and wants to deepen cooperation with the association.

Morgulov made the remark at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, during his meeting with ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh last weekend.

The Deputy Minister said that Russia will continue to support the bloc’s integration process after 2015 and strengthen cooperation with the association in the fields of fighting human trafficking, commerce-investment, disaster relief and tourism.

For his part, General Secretary Minh appreciated Russia’s contributions to the process of building the ASEAN Community, in which the ASEAN- Russian Federation Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund (ARDPFF) supported many activities of the association in all three key sectors of politics-security; economy and culture-society.

Minh also underlined Russia’s participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting as well as Russia’s contributions in the East Asia Summit.

The two sides agreed on a new course of action in the period 2016-2020, as a follow-up of the current Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) for ASEAN-Russia cooperation, which is due to expire in 2015.

The two sides also exchanged ideas on the possibility of organising the third Asia-Russia Summit .-VNA