The ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit marking the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-Russia dialogue partnership took place in Sochi, Russia from May 19-20.

During sessions on May 20, ASEAN and Russian leaders discussed regional and global issues, reviewed their bilateral dialogue partnership over the past 20 years and set out major orientations together with specific measures to lift the relationship to a greater height.

Both sides spoke highly of positive achievements and the implementation of the ASEAN-Russia Joint Statement on Comprehensive and Progressive Partnership and the Comprehensive Action Plan for 2005-2015.

On political and security pillars, Russia actively joined all forums and key regional processes initiated and guided by ASEAN, thus playing an increasingly important role in regional peace, stability and development.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and other ASEAN and Russia leaders at the 3rd ASEAN- Russia Summit

Economically, the two-way trade increased five-fold over the past 10 years to more than USD 20 billion. The Russian arrivals in ASEAN rose 20-fold to nearly 2.5 million while the number of ASEAN tourists to Russia surged significantly in recent years.

Leaders shared view that there remains room for further growth and both sides should exert greater efforts to deepen cooperative ties and bring the most practical benefits to their priority fields.

The meeting adopted the Sochi Declaration and took note of five important documents, including the ASEAN-Russia Comprehensive Plan of Actions for 2016-2020, a report on recommended policies of ASEAN-Russia Celebrities Group, the ASEAN-Russia Action Plan on Science, Technology and Innovation, a report on the implementation of the Working Program on ASEAN-Russia trade and investment for 2016-2020, and the ASEAN-Russia Program of Actions on Agriculture and Food Security Cooperation.

Discussing issues which grasp regional and international interest, the leaders highlighted the importance and necessity for maintaining peace, security in Asia-the Pacific, the role and contribution of ASEAN and Russia in handling current security and development challenges.

ASEAN leaders highly appreciated Russia’s role and hoped Russia will continue to take part in ASEAN’s cooperation mechanisms and support ASEAN’s standpoint and its central role in the region.

Leaders of both sides shared the concerns about and agreed upon the importance and common interests of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea (South China Sea) towards the region and world’s peace and development.

The leaders also underlined ASEAN’s principle stance that disputes should be solved by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, without the use of or threat to use force. They urged self-restrain and no acts to further complicate the situation as well as the full and effective compliance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed by ASEAN and China in 2002, and the early achievement of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

In the framework of the summit, leaders of ASEAN and Russia met representatives from business community of both sides, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the ASEAN Secretariat.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a key speech at the summit, expressing Vietnam’s wish and commitment to contribute to the comprehensive and progressive partnership between ASEAN and Russia.

Source: VNA