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Lavrov participating in Russia-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Kuala Lumpur

August 05, 2015, 9:12 UTC+3 KUALA LUMPUR

Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said a further development of Russian-Chinese relations is on the top of Russia’s foreign policy agenda

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

KUALA LUMPUR, August 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is taking part in Russia-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ministerial meeting on Wednesday.

Lavrov will meet with counterparts from China (Wang Yi), Turkey (Mevlut Cavusoglu), South Korea (Yung Byung-se), Malaysia (Anifah Aman) and Indonesia (Retno Marsudi)in the framework of the event, the Russian delegation told TASS. The Russian foreign minister will also hold meetings with US State Secretary John Kerry and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong. Lavrov already met with Kerry on August 3 in Qatar where they discussed the situation in Syria in the context of fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization. This time, the top diplomats will focus on Ukraine.

The Russian foreign ministry said that Lavrov will exchange opinions with colleagues from Asia-Pacific countries "on pressing global and regional issues, including expansion of IS terrorist organization, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear program on the Korean Peninsula." They will also discuss "developing the economic part of dialogue partnership, implementing Russian proposals on boosting trade and mutual investment, improving regional transport and energy infrastructure."

Russia and ASEAN countries will also discuss preparation of the Joint action plan on developing cooperation in this format for 2016-2020 and coordinate a document on strategic prospects of Russia-ASEAN ties. "This work will be facilitated by Russian-ASEAN ‘wise men group’. The decision on establishing this group is planned to be made at the ministerial meeting," the Russian foreign ministry said.

Cooperation with China tops Russia’s agenda

Lavrov on Wednesday said a further development of Russian-Chinese relations is on the top of Russia’s foreign policy agenda.

"The development of the Russian-Chinese relations is Russia’s priority and, I hope, it meets the interests of the global peace and stability," Russia’s top diplomat said during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kuala Lumpur.

Russia and China recently achieved a significant boost in their bilateral relations, primarily in the economic, energy, space and scientific as well as military spheres.

One of the milestone deals between the countries was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China last May and it was an agreement on the Russian natural gas supplies to China.

Russian energy giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a 30-year contract on Russian natural gas supplies to China via the eastern route worth a total of $400 billion.

Over the past few years, the two countries have noticeably increased the intensity of their contacts. China has become Russia’s major trade partner while Russia is in the top ten of China’s main trade partners. In 2002-2013, bilateral trade hiked from $12 billion to $89.2 billion.

Russia and China are planning to bring their bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion by 2015 and to $200 billion by 2020.

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