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Indonesia president arrives in Sochi to meet Putin, attend ASEAN-Russia summit

May 18, 2016, 14:58 UTC+3 SOCHI
Joko Widodo is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, and in the following days the Indonesian head of state will participate in the summit activities
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vladimir Putin, 2014

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vladimir Putin, 2014

© Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

SOCHI, May 18. /TASS/. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has arrived in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi where the Russia-ASEAN summit will be held on May 19-20. The plane of the Indonesian leader, who for the first time pays an official visit to Russia, landed at Sochi airport on Wednesday.

Widodo is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, and in the following days the Indonesian head of state will participate in the summit activities.

According to Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, special attention during bilateral talks will be paid to the development of mutual trade and economic cooperation, it is also planned to sign a number of documents. "Indonesia and Russia have similar or identical views on major international issues, they constructively interact in the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, APEC, the Group of Twenty, the East Asia Summit, within the framework of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership," the Kremlin representative said. "In the context of improving the contractual legal framework of relations, it is planned to sign several bilateral documents on the visit results."

The summit of Russia and the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be held in Sochi on May 19-20 and will become the biggest international event in Russia in 2016.

ASEAN comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar with a total population of over 600 million people. The Association aims to develop cooperation in the economic, social, cultural and other spheres, and also strengthen peace and stability in Southeast Asia.

Russia has been a dialog partner of ASEAN since July 1996. In December 2005, the first Russia-ASEAN summit was held in Kuala Lumpur. The summit participants signed a declaration on cooperation and approved an action plan - in effect a roadmap of Russia-ASEAN interaction. 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. 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.

The gross domestic product of ASEAN member-states stands at about $3.5 trillion today and is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020. ASEAN is becoming an increasingly attractive area for foreign investments, which grew by 16% in 2014 to over $136 billion.

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