18 December 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

29.07.2016

Russia-ASEAN: new level of cooperation (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The ASEAN countries remain Russia's primary focus in South-East Asia. Driven by the desire to have partners in developing trade and strengthening security in the region, Russia established relations with ASEAN in 1991 and in 1996 became a full-fledged dialogue partner. We accessed to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2004. A very important and powerful impetus was given to 20-year ASEAN-Russia cooperation after the Sochi Summit in May 2016.

The Sochi Summit emphasized the progress on economic, trade, and investment cooperation and people-to-people contacts, achieved by both parties. One of the key results of the summit was launching the initiative to strengthen interaction between the Eurasian Economic Union and the ASEAN and create a broad Eurasian Economic partnership with the participation of the EAEU, the SCO and the ASEAN countries while leaving the doors open for other interested nations. Preparations are in progress for a series of other events, including the first meeting of transport ministers, fostering cooperation in the area of logistics and transport infrastructure and the use of Russian capabilities to develop these sectors in the Southeast Asia.

Important meetings between Russia and ASEAN countries on 25 July in Vientiane, Laos, were another milestone in our relations. Russia proposed to launch a dialogue on the idea of an umbrella organization for all Asia-Pacific states without exception providing uniform rules of conduct on a non-bloc basis and the principle of equal and indivisible security, which received strong support from our Chinese partners. In the sphere of tackling terrorism and crime ASEAN and partners, including Russia, adopted a statement on promoting cooperation in the cross-border prosecution of criminals, which is a very useful document in terms of ensuring law and order at sea and on curbing the illegal use of bio-resources.

Russia cooperates with ASEAN countries in law enforcement (this year Nizhny Novgorod will host the Russian Interior Ministry's regular training sessions for representatives of law enforcement organisations in the ASEAN countries), education (the Russia-ASEAN University Forum will be held in September), in culture (performances by the Russian-ASEAN joint symphony orchestra will take place as part of the East Asian Summit in Laos in September. It may not be the most well-known event but it is a good step in developing people-to-people contacts among creative groups and NGOs). The parliamentary dimension is very important as well. A number of contacts have been planned between the heads of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the ASEAN parliaments.

We noted the progress in cooperation between the ASEAN countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Beiorussia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) after Vietnam signed a Free Trade Area Agreement. Singapore, Cambodia and a number of other Southeast Asian countries have also shown an interest in pursuing this format.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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