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MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Holding the Russia-ASEAN summit on the territory of Russia confirms the important role Moscow is playing in the Asia Pacific Region, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told TASS on Friday.
"I will begin with stating that it is for the first time held on the Russian territory. The arrival of heads of states and governments of 10 ASEAN member countries in Sochi will already become a significant international event, a confirmation of importance of relations with Russia for this authoritative regional association that unites over 500,000 million people in a single family and represents the seventh economy in the world in total," Morgulov said.
"Secondly, Russia’s meetings with ASEAN were previously held on the sidelines of ASEAN events - in Kuala Lumpur in 2005 and in Hanoi in 2010," the diplomat continued. "In the fact that the event will be held in Sochi without any connection to other events, I see recognition of a rather constructive role of our country in strengthening security and stability in the Asia Pacific, ensuring its sustainable development," he added.
According to Morgulov, documents for Russia-ASEAN summit - Sochi declaration on common approaches to international and regional problems and joint plan of action for developing cooperation in 2016-2020 - are at the final stage of coordination.
"The leaders will have to approve the Sochi declaration which, among other things, outline common approaches of our countries toward international and regional problems, as well as the comprehensive plan of action for developing Russia-ASEAN cooperation in 2016-2020 - a kind of a ‘roadmap’ of promoting our cooperation in practical spheres. Both documents are now at final stages of coordination," Morgulov said.
The participants of the Sochi summit will also consider the report by the Eminent Persons Group which was established in 2015 on Russia’s initiative and includes diplomats and academicians. Morgulov reminded that the group was tasked with preparing a strategic vision of future relations between Russia and ASEAN member countries. "The experts held three meetings, the report is already ready and will be presented to the leaders in Sochi. We hope that it will allow to get a fresh look at Russia-ASEAN partnership, go beyond the framework of established assessments and development prospects," the diplomat noted.
The Russia-ASEAN summit will be held in Sochi on May 19-20 and will become the biggest international event in Russia in 2016. The summit will be held under the slogan "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good."
The summit is expected to adopt a declaration that will lay the basis for an action plan of Russia-ASEAN cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, as well as in the sphere of security.
Russia has been a dialog partner of ASEAN since July 1996. Similar partnership summits are normally held on the territory of member-states and the choice of Sochi as venue for the Russia-ASEAN summit on the partnership’s 20th anniversary is symbolic.