HANOI, May 16. /TASS/. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appreciates Russia’s contribution to developing cooperation in the region, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Monday.
"Looking back at 20 years passed since establishing relations of dialog partnership of the Association with Russia, it can be said that we have seen how this cooperation developed deeply and in a complex way in many areas," said Phuc, who will pay an official visit to Russia on May 16-20 and head Vietnam’s delegation at the Russia-ASEAN anniversary summit in Sochi.
All ASEAN countries note Russia’s constructive contribution to the activity of cooperation mechanisms created under the auspices of the Association: the East Asia Summits, the ASEAN regional forum on security and the ASEAN defense ministers' meeting with dialog partners.
"ASEAN highly values Russia’s support of central role of the Association in regional structures responsible for countering traditional and non-traditional challenges to security, including terrorism, transnational crime, climate change, disasters and their consequences, rescue operations and maritime security," he said.
Now the sides should step up cooperation in a number of particular areas and strengthen ties in the areas of interest for ASEAN in which Russia has advantages - in science and technologies, energy, responding to security threats, first of all ensuring maritime security, combating terrorism and transnational crime and the fight against consequences of climate change, Phuc said.
"ASEAN expects Russia’s support in implementing tasks defined by existing program documents of the Association - "ASEAN: Vision 2025," "ASEAN Interconnection Master Plan" and "Initiative for ASEAN Integration," he stressed.
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.