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Russia sees ASEAN as reliable ally amid global instability — Lavrov

Russian diplomat stressed that last year and a half Russia and the Association maintained the existing level of cooperation and made a number of steps to expand it

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Russia regards ASEAN as a reliable and predictable ally in an unstable geopolitical situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday at a special meeting of the Russian and ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Jakarta.—

"Amid unstable geopolitical situation in the world, exacerbation of both traditional and new challenges and threats, we see the Association as strategic, reliable, and predictable ally in international affairs. We are ready for an open dialogue on the entire spectrum of pressing problems of the global and regional agenda. We consider it especially important to coordinate the approaches of Russia and ASEAN to solving the difficult problems before us," the minister was quoted by the Russian diplomatic service.

"Despite the fact that last year and a half have been difficult due to the pandemic, we were able not only to maintain the existing level of our cooperation, but also to take a number of steps to expand it, create new channels of interaction," Lavrov stressed.

The Foreign Minister noted that 2021 is a special year for Russia and ASEAN. "It is the 30th anniversary of Russian-ASEAN relations and the 25th anniversary of the full-scale Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership, which was given the strategic status in 2018. During this period, a branched system of interaction mechanisms has been formed, which makes it possible to effectively promote cooperation in all areas - in the field of politics and security, economics and socio-cultural ties, and others," he said.

Humanitarian contacts continue to develop between Russia and ASEAN, issues of regional architecture, post-crisis economic recovery, and the fight against terrorism are being discussed, the minister continued. "We hope that the epidemiological situation will allow us to hold the sixth Russia-ASEAN Youth summit in Kazan in the foreseeable future," Lavrov added.