Aug 04, 2021 / 21:32

Russia, India pledge support for smooth supply chain in ASEAN

The two countries have expressed their hope to forge the relations with ASEAN through the 2021-2025 Action Plans.

India and Russia have pledged to extend their support to help ASEAN member states combat Covid-19 and maintain the supply chain.

The commitments were made at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting and ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting on August 4 with the attendance of foreign ministers and deputy ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and their Indian and Russian counterparts.

Russia to speed up vaccine tech transfer

 Participants at the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting on August 4.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told the participants that Moscow will continue supplying Covid-19 vaccines and get ready to transfer technologies for Southeast Asia as well as promote the training of health workers for the regional countries.
Russia attaches importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN, which was upgraded in 2018 and engages more in ASEAN-led mechanism with a focus on dialogues and cooperation in Covid-19 response amid the uncertainties in the global situation.

The two sides agreed to prioritize the Covid-19 response and support the comprehensive recovery plans with Russia’s assistance in preventive healthcare, vaccine supply and reliance.

They appreciated the completion of negotiations on the comprehensive action plan for 2021-2025, which would be approved in the ASEAN-Russia Senior Officials Meeting in October 2021.

Russia expected to boost the cooperation in multilateral agenda like the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Moscow suggested choosing 2022 for the year of cooperation in science, technology, and industry and the first ASEAN-Russia Dialogue on information technology and communications at the end of 2021.

ASEAN and Russia agreed to promote trust-building through dialogues and cooperation and advocacy to a rules-based order in the region and the world as a whole.

Russia was the partner of the ASEAN Regional Forum in 1995. One year later, it became a full-pledged ASEAN dialogue partner and acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN in 2004.

Earlier, Russian Ambassador to ASEAN Alexander Ivanov stated that Covid-19 may push the ASEAN–Russia strategic partnership into action through ASEAN-institutions, according to the East Asia Forum.

India supports a smooth regional supply chain

 The ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on August 4. Photos: Baoquocte

Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stressed the importance of mutual support in the Covid-19 response, improving preventive healthcare, and maintaining the regional supply chain.

The diplomats exchanged views on implementing the ASEAN-India Action Plan for 2021-2025, with priorities given to promoting trade and investment exchanges, connectivity, maritime cooperation, science, technology and innovation, digital transformation, disaster prevention, climate adaptation, and narrowing the development gap.

India expressed its support to the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, a critical part of the rules-based international system. The country also appreciated the bloc’s Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar's situation.

The two sides agreed to compile cooperation documents related to the framework of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

India’s relationship with ASEAN has emerged as a key cornerstone of its foreign policy. The relationship has evolved from the “Look East Policy” enunciated in the early 1990s, which led India to become a Sectoral Partner of ASEAN in 1992, a Dialogue Partner in 1996, and a Summit-level Partner in 2002.

The ASEAN leaders welcomed India’s initiative, namely the “Act East Policy”, which is aimed to complement ASEAN Community building efforts. In that regard, the ASEAN leaders encouraged India to work with ASEAN to realize the vision and goals outlined in the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.