Vietnam highly regards Russia’s role in Asia – Pacific hinh anh 1Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (centre) and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu at the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Moscow (VNA) – Vietnam values Russia’s contributions to peace and stability in the Asia–Pacific region, Minister of National Defence Ngo Xuan Lich said on April 26.

He delivered a speech at a meeting in Moscow between Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and the heads of the 10 ASEAN countries’ military delegations to the fifth Moscow Conference on International Security.

He said Russia’s hosting of the meeting was a demonstration of its willingness to enhance relations with the ASEAN.

Since Russia’s partnership with the ASEAN was set up in 1996, Russia has played an increasing role in the peace, stability and development of Southeast Asia as well as Asia–Pacific.

The country has engaged in ASEAN-led multilateral security cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), Lich said.

He emphasised that Vietnam pledges to intensify cooperation with Russia on the basis of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefits and adherence to international law.

The ASEAN, founded in 1967, has become one of the most successful regional cooperation groups in the world. It is important to peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia and the world.

The Vietnamese officer highlighted defence cooperation activities among the ASEAN nations and between the ASEAN and its partner countries, including the ADMM and ADMM+.

The ADMM+ has helped maintain peace and stability as well as cope with non-traditional security issues, in Asia–Pacific. It has also boosted mutual understanding and created foundations for resolving disputes, he said.

In their speeches, other heads of the ASEAN military delegations pointed out traditional and new challenges facing the region such as migration, trans-national crime, epidemics, cybercrime and natural disasters.

Only solidarity and cooperation can help the countries successfully tackle those challenges, they added.

At the meeting, Russian Defence Minsiter Sergei Shoigu said the participants mapped out orientations for developing win-win cooperation, including in counter-terrorism, maritime security, natural disaster relief, military medicine and unexploded ordnance clearance.

He added his country will increase bilateral meetings with the ASEAN members to expand military collaboration.-VNA