MANILA, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Interior Ministry has become a full-fledged dialogue partner in the association of national police forces of South East Asian Nations /ASEANPOL/, on the strength of unanimous decision by ASEANPOL members at the 34th conference of the organization which began its work in the Philippines' capital on Tuesday.
Russian police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev who heads the Russian delegation in Manila thanked the Philippine police for the invitation to attend the forum noting the importance of developing cooperation.
"The role of regional bodies in international police cooperation has an important significance. In this connection, Russian law-enforcement bodies seek to actively cooperate with ASEAN countries," Kolokoltsev said. "I'm sure that gaining the status of full-fledged partner of ASEANPOL will open additional opportunities for strengthening interaction between Russia and ASEAN in fighting crime."
"We believe that joint efforts should be aimed at combating cross border organized crime, terrorism and drug trafficking. Also, ASEAN police forces should launch effective information exchange," the Russian interior minister said.
The minister noted that transnational organized crime undermined the foundation of statehood and had a negative impact on international development. Of special concern is the active improvement of forms and methods used by international criminal groups in the "traditional" arras of their illegal activity.
"We confirm our readiness for cooperation and further development of all the existing opportunities on the basis of complete range of international legal instruments," he went on.
Priorities for Russian police include the establishment of contacts with police bodies in the Asian-Pacific region. Russian police and ASEANPOL have a positive interaction experience in training police officers.
Russian police have been a regular participant in dedicated meetings of this organization.
"We think it is one of the areas where we have potential to develop our cooperation. This year, we plan to arrange courses for ASEAN specialists in combating human trafficking," Kolokoltsev said.
He called for further strengthening of the international legal groundwork of police cooperation, which will make the fight against crime more effective. The Russian police chief expressed confidence that Russia's activity in ASEANPOL and joint shaping of law-enforcement positions in the region will help reach practical results.
"The participation of the Russian Interior Ministry’s delegation in today's meeting shows that cooperation with ASEAN has reached a new level, and we confirm our readiness for its comprehensive development," he said.
ASEANPOL was created in 1981. It is a council of heads of police forces of ASEAN member-states. The objective is to strengthen mutual understanding, exchange information and launch close practical cooperation between ASEAN police forces in combating crimes, ensuring law and order and training personnel.
Earlier, Russia had the observer states in ASEANPOL, and now it is a dialogue partner which enables it to expand interaction within the framework of working groups, joint projects and operations in fighting specific areas of crimes in Southeast Asia. It should be noted that the status of ASEANPOL dialogue partner requires unanimous voting by all ASEANPOL members.