Vietnam attends 17th ASEAN-Russia senior officials’ meeting hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Getty Images)
Hanoi (VNA) – The 17th ASEAN – Russia Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) took place virtually on January 26, which was co-chaired by Russia and Indonesia – coordinators of ASEAN – Russia ties.

Speaking at the event, the Vietnamese delegation affirmed Russia’s important role in ASEAN and regional cooperation and spoke highly of the progress of ASEAN – Russia collaboration over the past years.

They encouraged Russia to deeply join and make further positive contributions to ASEAN-led cooperation mechanisms, contributing to the common efforts to build trust, uphold international law for an environment of peace, security and stability, especially amid challenges at present.

In the immediate future, Vietnam suggested Russia continue assisting the bloc in mitigating the adverse impacts of the pandemic and propelling sustainable growth.

Stressing that Vietnam fully supports Russia’s wide participation in ASEAN and regional cooperation, the Vietnamese delegation affirmed readiness to work with Russia and ASEAN member states to further deepen substantive and mutually beneficial coordination between the bloc and Russia, contributing to upgrading bilateral strategic partnership.

At the event, ASEAN and Russia agreed to soon complete their draft comprehensive action plan for the 2021-2025 period, thus laying an important foundation for bilateral ties in the new period, with a focus on priority fields such as terrorism and trans-national crime fight, trade, digital economy, science and technology, smart city development, energy, disaster management and people-to-people exchange.

They consented to consider establishing dialogue mechanisms to talk about security and information technology security issues.

Amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, they vowed to work closely together to effectively cope with the pandemic, including realising the East Asia Summit Leaders’ Statement on Strengthening Collective Capacity in Epidemics Prevention and Response.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov affirmed that as a strategic partner of ASEAN, Russia is ready to partner with the region in fighting the pandemic and mitigating its socio-economic tolls.

He hailed ASEAN’s efforts to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and wished to foster ties between the Eurasian Economic Union and ASEAN in the near future, contributing to carrying forward multilateral trade and regional connectivity.

On regional and global issues, they highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, stability, ensuring security and safety in the region, given that the pandemic still poses risk and threat to socio-economic lives.

They vowed to share vision for the common goal of holding up international law, promoting multilateralism and building a rules-based regional and global order./.