The 15th ASEAN-Russia Senior Officials' Meeting (ARSOM), held on May 18 in Moscow discussed ways and means to further strengthen ASEAN-Russia relation. Russia and ASEAN senior officials vowed to reaffirm their strong commitment to further expand and deepen ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership with the aim of elevating it to a greater height.
The ARSOM was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao DPR Thongphane Savanphet, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Morgulov. Senior representatives from the ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat also attended the meeting.
It focussed on developing practical cooperation to implement the Sochi Declaration of the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit to mark the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership and Comprehensive Plan of Action to Promote Cooperation 2016-2020.
Additionally, the senior officials also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern. Russia reaffirmed the importance of and its continued support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture.
The cooperation areas include countering terrorism, business, trade, and investment, science and technology, transport connectivity, energy, agriculture, disaster management, education, cultural and people-to-people exchange.
The meeting embraced the launch of the Network of the ASEAN-Russia Think-Tanks with its inaugural meeting held in April 2018 in Moscow. This mechanism aims to provide support on the process of building a strategic partnership between ASEAN and Russia.