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Russia, ASEAN to outline measures to boost cooperation — top diplomat

BANGKOK, July 31. /TASS/. Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will outline additional measures to boost political and economic cooperation since dialogue has reached the strategic partnership level, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, addressing a Russia-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Lavrov pointed out that Wednesday’s meeting was the first one following the decision to take dialogue to the strategic partnership level that had been announced at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Singapore in November 2018. "The agreements we reached at the summit laid the groundwork for furthering cooperation in all areas and set new tasks before us. I am pleased to note that the parties promptly began to accomplish them," the Russian top diplomat said.

He emphasized that Russia and ASEAN were enhancing coordination on the international arena. "The foreign policy philosophy of our countries is almost identical, we also share the same approach to resolving pressing issues solely through dialogue and negotiations," Lavrov noted. According to him, it is particularly important "given the difficult global situation."

"Practical cooperation between Russia and ASEAN is growing, new promising trends are emerging and mutually beneficial joint projects are being successfully implemented. Today, we need to outline additional measures to expand political, economic, social and cultural cooperation and exchange views on a wide range of regional and global issues, including building an equal and indivisible security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region that would be adapted to today's realities," the Russian foreign minister added.

"We believe it is crucial to strengthen the guiding role of ASEAN and ASEAN-oriented forums such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum on security, and the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus," Lavrov stated.