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Putin rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders
May 21, 2016, 5:55 am

Reception in honour of heads of delegations taking part in Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi, Russia on 19 May 2016 [Image: PPIO]

Reception in honour of heads of delegations taking part in Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi, Russia on 19 May 2016 [Image: PPIO]

Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reached agreements aimed at boosting economic and security cooperation. Top officials, including the chief, of the newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank attended the summit.

A two-day ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit held in southern Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi concluded on Friday with the signing of the Sochi Declaration and a five-year action plan towards strengthening Moscow’s ties with the Asian bloc.

Russia’s trade with ASEAN countries topped $13.7 billion last year while total capital investment reached to $11 billion.

“But these figures do not reflect our countries’ real potential, and so our partners supported the proposal to increase our mutual trade, investment and technology ties,” Putin said at a press conference following the summit.

At the summit, there was renewed emphasis on the integration of regional organizations such as the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the China-Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

All ASEAN countries voiced support for the integration of those mechanisms, said Putin who expected a free trade zone between ASEAN and the EEU.

Russia signed a free trade zone agreement with Vietnam last year.

“We are studying the possibility of concluding similar agreements with other ASEAN countries – Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia,” said Putin.

Jin Liqun, president of the newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) headed the new lender’s delegation at the Summit in Sochi.

At Thursday’s Russia-ASEAN Business Forum, Jin said the China-backed lender will look at funding infrastructure projects in the region.

“AIIB wants to promote the investment in infrastructure and mass transport lines in the vast Eurasian land,” he said, adding the bank will “mobilize the support of all members states and the international and regional institutions, such as the World Bank and the Eurasian Development Bank.”

While listing existing investment projects in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Putin also announced that “Russia has drawn up a roadmap that encompasses 57 concrete projects aimed at establishing joint technology and innovation alliances” in ASEAN countries.

Russia and ASEAN also vowed to strengthen cooperation in order to create a reliable security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and to better fight global terrorism, cross-border crimes and drug trafficking.

“There is a reason why we are addressing global and regional security problems. Many countries in the region have been confronted with manifestations of extremism and terrorism and have suffered as a result. Therefore, all of this is on our radar,” Putin told Asian leaders gathered at Sochi.

SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said at the summit that the bloc stands ready to boost cooperation with ASEAN in the fight against global terrorism.

While paying special attention to ramping up ties with countries of the Asia-Pacific, Moscow noted that it is not “turning to the East” but making a conscious choice with regard to tendencies that the Asia-Pacific region has been widely seen as a locomotive of global economy.

Russia is also seeking to boost energy ties with the world’s biggest oil market.

“We can boost our fuel and energy cooperation to next level. ASEAN countries’ needs for hydrocarbon resources as well as electricity are growing. Russia can satisfy this growing demand by supplying energy on a long-term basis. We can offer our partners new-generation nuclear power plant projects,” Putin told Asian leaders at the Summit.

While the Middle East provides more than 50 per cent of Asia’s requirements because of its proximity, buyers in the world’s biggest oil-consuming region are seeking to end that dependence and guard against geopolitical risks.

Meanwhile, this week, oil prices clocked its second straight week of gains, as unplanned supply outages have risen to the highest in at least five years because of wildfires in Canada and losses in Nigeria, Libya and Venezuela.

TBP and Agencies

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2 Responses to Putin rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders

  1. sixpack Reply

    May 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    “Russia and ASEAN also vowed to strengthen cooperation in order to create a reliable security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region and to better fight global terrorism, cross-border crimes and drug trafficking” … “geopolitical risks” … YEAH, THEY PROBABLY MEAN FIGHTING AGAINST THE GLOBAL TERRORISTS – THE USA.

  2. Thakur Mohammad Moniruzzaman Reply

    May 23, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Bless Putin !

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