Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 held hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh joined other ASEAN foreign ministers and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 on June 17.

The ministers affirmed their commitment to expanding cooperation to strengthen capacity in preparing, detecting, and responding to diseases, in line with International Health Regulations 2005.

They welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19 Response and the stockpile of medical supplies in the region, and hoped that Russia would assist in achieving common goals through mobilising and utilising resources from the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund.

In particular, ministers emphasised the need to strengthen cooperation to quickly produce vaccines and drugs to fight the coronavirus. They agreed to support and facilitate the return of each other’s citizens home if necessary and to ensure their safety while living, working, or studying in their host countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke highly of ASEAN’s efforts in coping with COVID-19 and added that Russia is willing to share its experience with ASEAN and coordinate with the bloc to soon find vaccines and medicines as well as to support ASEAN to improve its health capacity.

Minh shared the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam with the others in attendance, confirming that the country has had no new cases of community transmission for many days in succession thanks to the effective measures the Vietnamese Government is implementing.

He said Vietnam is still taking a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus and at the same time revive its economy.

He asked Russia to cooperate with ASEAN in curbing the virus and treating infectious cases, while paying attention to ensuring the rights and equal treatment of citizens from ASEAN in Russia and promoting cooperation to minimise the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Vietnam will strengthen coordination with other countries, including Russia, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the international community to control and repel the virus, Minh affirmed.

The official called on countries, especially Russia and those in ASEAN, to strengthen collaboration and seek to co-exist with the risks COVID-19 poses.

He also underlined orientations for ASEAN-Russia cooperation in responding to medical emergencies: enhancing information exchange, sharing experiences and practical lessons, closely working on the research and development of vaccines and antiviral drugs, recovering socio-economic activities to a normal state and ensuring sustainable growth, strengthening regional rules-based, open, and transparent mechanisms, maintaining multilateral commitments, and promoting dialogue and cooperation in response to new challenges./.