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VIENTIANE (Laos), July 25. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the ministerial meeting Russia-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) on Monday in the capital of Laos. On July 26 Lavrov will also participate in the meeting of foreign ministers of East Asia Summit (EAS) member countries and in the session of ASEAN Regional Forum on security issues. The Russian foreign minister will hold several meetings on the sidelines of these events, including with colleagues from Asia Pacific countries and US State Secretary John Kerry.
Though the program of Lavrov’s bilateral meetings on the sidelines of upcoming events was not announced in advance, the Russian minister usually holds several meetings with colleagues from different countries in the framework of these events.
The range of possible negotiations partners is rather broad this time. ASEAN includes Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines. EAS brings together Australia, India, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, the United States and Japan. ASEAN Regional Forum unites the association’s member countries and several other Asian countries, including China, Pakistan and India, as well as the United States and the European Union.
Information is so far available only about one scheduled meeting - with US State Secretary John Kerry, who will also be in Vientiane during these days. The meeting is planned for July 26.
The meeting of foreign ministers of Russia and ASEAN member countries on July 25 is aimed at coordinating practical steps on implementing the agreements reached at the Sochi summit in May, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Russia plans to confirm ASEAN’s central role in regional affairs, readiness to coordinate efforts at international platforms, intention to work together to ensure stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific, to build an equal and balanced architecture of security and cooperation in the region.
The Russian delegation plans to pay special attention to cooperation with ASEAN in the fight against new threats and challenges - terrorism and transnational crime, drug trafficking, sea piracy, illegal migration. Ways to boost economic ties will also be discussed, especially in the spheres of energy, investment, infrastructure between Russia and ASEAN.
Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to establish economic partnership between ASEAN, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russia will raise the issue of concrete ways to fulfill this task, including by formalizing contacts between the Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN Secretariat.
The sixth meeting of foreign ministers of EAS member countries on July 26 will focus on issues of cooperation in the sphere of finances, energy, emergency response, healthcare and education. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that in this format, Russia hopes for "equal cooperation with partners, promoting uniting agenda at the forum in the interests of ensuring peace, stability and sustainable development in the Asia Pacific."
The foreign ministry also noted that EAS is a key element of building a transparent, open and comprehensive architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Asia Pacific. "We plan to continue constructive discussion of this topic with partners in order to agree on a comprehensive inter-state document on security in the region in the future," the ministry noted. "We think that such work should be carried out in stages, at the pace that is comfortable for all participants," it added.
The results of the meeting of EAS foreign ministers will be outlined in the chair’s statement.
On July 26 Lavrov will also participate in the 23rd session of the ASEAN Regional Forum on security issues. "Among traditional issues on the agenda are matters of strengthening trust building measures and preventive diplomacy, fighting against terrorism and organized crime, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, emergency response, as well as maritime security," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Russia will emphasize new directions of cooperation - security of using informational and communication technologies and space activities.
In the framework of the Regional Forum, the foreign ministers will also discuss international issues, including fighting against Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization (banned in Russia), situation on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East and in Afghanistan.