MOSCOW. October 15. /TASS/. Russia strongly objects against substituting the existing ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) cooperation platforms with bloc-based formats, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Friday.
"We strongly object against putting the association’s existing cooperation platforms on the back burner, against substituting them with closed bloc formats," he said at a conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership and 30th anniversary of relations between Russia and the ASEAN.
According to the senior diplomat, the Asia-Pacific region is currently at a crossroads and its future depends largely on the ASEAN. "The unity, security and prosperity of all countries of this region or new friend-or-foe, rich-or-poor, democratic-or-authoritarian division lines," he noted.
He stressed that a Russia-ASEAN summit and a meeting of the nations’ leaders due in October will give fresh impetus to cooperation with the association. "We are convinced that the summit will be a key event of the jubilee year and we are sure it will not be reduced to protocol formalities. The summit is expected to yield decisions of principal importance and I am sure they will set a vector for the development of dialogue with the association on the entire spectrum of topics," he added.
The international conference on Russian-ASEAN relations is being held as part of the 13th Convent of the Russian International Studies Association on the 30th anniversary of new Russia’s foreign policy.