MOSCOW, June 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and his Fijian counterpart Inoke Kubuabola, during forthcoming talks, will discuss prospects for deepening bilateral cooperation and "compare notes" on international problems, Russia's Foreign Ministry official said.
The sides will "substamtively discuss the state of and prospects for a further deepening of bilateral cooperation in practical fields with emphasis on implementing accords reached as a result of the Fijian Prime Minister's visit to Russia and will compare notes on international problems," the Ministry official said.
"Mutual coordination of efforts within the framework of the UN and other international organizations and forums, and an active participation in the work of the dialogue mechanism 'Russia the insular developing states of the South Pacific' are an important dimension of bilateral relations," the Ministry official pointed out. "Constructive cooperation is based on coincidence or proximity of the two countries' approaches to many matters of current importance that are on the global and regional agendas".
The Ministry analysts expressed confidence that "Kubuabola's visit will contribute to consolidating the positive tendencies in Russo-Fijian relations, as well as their partnership character, which fully meets the long-term interests of the peoples of the two states and the tasks of ensuring security and sustainable development in the South Pacific".
In recent years, Russo-Fijian contacts "acquired incremental dynamics", the Ministry analysts emphasized. "This was promoted by the first-ever top-level visit in the history of bilateral relations: Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to Russia from June 27 to July 1, 2013," the Ministry official said. "The Heads of Government held talks and worked out a common vision of bilateral cooperation priorities, and set specific tasks to realize them in practice. The visit was crowned with the signing of five important documents, including agreements on mutual cancellation of visa requirements and on technical military cooperation, and inter-agency memorandums on efforts to combat legalization of incomes criminally obtained through the financing of terrorism, and on interaction in the fields of healthcare and higher education".
"This year, Russia and Fiji mark a memorable date the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations," the Ministry official recalled. "The first contacts between Russia and Fiji date back to the beginning of the 19th century. In August 1820, famous Russian seafarers Faddei Bellinshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, during an expedition to Antarctica on sloop-rigged vessels Vostok (east) and Mirny (peaceful) visited Ono Island. The local inhabitants cordially welcomed the Russian seamen who were moved by the warm reception accorded to them and 'fascinated by the landscapes of the bountiful and well cultivated island'."
Developing contacts with the islands of the South Pacific, including the Republic of Fiji, is provided for by the provisions of the Russian Foreign Policy Concept approved by the Russian President on February 12, 2013.