JAKARTA, May 13. /TASS/. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) considers Russia as an important dialogue partner and supports Moscow’s more active role in regional mechanisms, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh told TASS in an exclusive interview on Friday.
"We consider Russia as an important dialogue partner, the relations with which have been expanding and deepening over the last 20 years. Since the ASEAN-Russia Declaration on Progressive and Comprehensive Partnership was signed in Malaysia in 2005, our cooperation has encompassed such spheres as politics, security, trade, investment, science, technologies, education, food security, energy, agriculture, tourism, transport, disaster prevention and culture," the secretary general said.
At the upcoming summit in Sochi, "the leaders will analyze cooperation over the last 20 years and determine new directions for cooperation," he added. They will also exchange opinions on regional and international issues of mutual interest, he noted adding that the joint plan of action for 2016-2020 is expected to be adopted at the summit.
"ASEAN supports Russia’s more active role in such mechanisms as the Regional Forum, meetings between defense ministers and dialogue partners, East Asia Summit," he concluded.
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.