A. Introduction

1. ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership could be traced back to July 1991 when the then Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation attended the Opening Session of the 24th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Kuala Lumpur as a guest of the Malaysian Government. Russia was subsequently elevated to a full Dialogue Partner of ASEAN at the 29th AMM in July 1996 in Jakarta.

B. Political and Security Cooperation

2. ASEAN and Russia maintain good political and security relations. A milestone in ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations was when Russia acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on 29 November 2004. Russia’s accession to the TAC reflects her strong commitment to regional peace, stability and a significant contribution to the TAC as an important code of conduct governing inter-states relations.

3. Russia participates in a series of consultative meetings with ASEAN under the ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations to discuss and exchange views on political and security issues of mutual interest and concern. These include ministerial meetings, senior officials meetings and meetings at expert level, as well as through dialogue and cooperation frameworks initiated by ASEAN, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) 10+1, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the East Asia Summit.

4. At the first ASEAN-Russia Summit in December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, ASEAN and Russia signed the Joint Declaration of the Heads of State/Government of the Member Countries of ASEAN and the Russian Federation on Progressive and Comprehensive Partnership. The Joint Declaration promotes and strengthens ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership in a wide range of areas including political and security, economic and development cooperation. ASEAN and Russia also adopted the Comprehensive Programme of Action 2005-2015 to realise the goals and objectives set out in the Joint Declaration.

5. ASEAN-Russia cooperation is undertaken under the framework of the Comprehensive Programme of Actions (CPA) to Promote Cooperation between ASEAN and the Russian Federation 2005-2015. The CPA is aimed at promoting and enhancing ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Relations through assisting ASEAN in its efforts in regional economic integration and community building. A Roadmap to Implement the CPA is adopted to better the implementation of the CPA.

6. In keeping with the momentum in ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations, the Leaders of ASEAN and Russian Federation convened the 2nd ASEAN-Russia Summit in October 2010 in Ha Noi which, among others, reaffirmed their commitment to consolidate and further promote ASEAN-Russia progressive and comprehensive partnership towards enhancement of the relations to a higher plane, and to work closely together in the evolving regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific.

7. ASEAN and Russia have been working to implement the ASEAN-Russian Federation Joint Declaration on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism which was signed at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference+1 Session with Russia in 2004. ASEAN and Russia adopted the ASEAN-Russia Work Plan on Countering Terrorism and Transnational Crime and have held regular dialogue at senior officials and expert levels.

8. In celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Partnership in 2011, a number of activities were carried out have to mark the auspicious occasion in 2011.

9. Following the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter and based on the long-standing ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations, Russia has accredited Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin as its current Ambassador to ASEAN.

C. Economic Cooperation

10. ASEAN and Russia agree that they have potential for enhanced economic and trade cooperation and that efforts should be made to further enhance the ASEAN-Russia trade and economic relations, including through encouraging the private sector and SMEs of the two sides to explore business opportunities with each other.

11. In December 2005, ASEAN and Russia concluded the Agreement between the Governments of the Member Countries of ASEAN and the Government of the Russian Federation on Economic and Development Cooperation. The Agreement provides for favourable conditions for the development of multifaceted cooperation between the two sides in economic, trade and investment, scientific, technological and cultural areas.

12. The First Consultations between ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and Economic Minister of Russia was held in August 2010 in Da Nang, Viet Nam, which created momentum to bring trade and economic relations to a new stage. The Ministers explored ways to increase trade and investment flows as well as economic cooperation between ASEAN and Russia, including trade facilitation, standards and conformance, energy, SME development, food security, tourism, air transport services and renewable energy.

13. In 2012, the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap was endorsed by the ASEAN and Russian Ministers on ad-referendum basis. The Roadmap comprises five (5) key areas, namely High-level policy dialogue; Consultations at the Senior Economic Officials level; Sectoral dialogues between ASEAN and Russian officials; Trade and investment facilitation; Enhancing dialogue with business. Subsequently, the 2nd AEM-Russia Consultation held on 21 August 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, endorsed the Work Programme for the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Roadmap, which includes of the following areas: trade and investment facilitation and liberalisation, energy, logistics chain development, human resources development, tourism, SME development, innovation and modernisation and intellectual property creation, and business dialogue.

14. The total trade between ASEAN and Russia grew by 9.9% from US$ 18.2 billion in 2012 to US$ 19.9 billion in 2013. Foreign direct investment inflow from Russia has significantly increased by almost 200 per cent, from US$ 180 million in 2012 to US$ 540 million in 2013.

15. Energy has been viewed as one of the most promising areas for cooperation between ASEAN and Russia. The ASEAN Senior Officials on Energy (SOME)-Russia Consultation held on 21 July 2010 in Da Lat, Viet Nam adopted the ASEAN-Russia Energy Cooperation Work Programme 2010 – 2015. The Work Programme is a significant development, marking the willingness and readiness of ASEAN and Russia to deepen cooperation, especially on the capacity building programmes, development of alternative and renewable energy resources, energy infrastructure, peaceful use of nuclear energy, coal, and oil and gas exploration.

16. In tourism, the number of visitor arrivals from Russia to ASEAN in 2012 was 1.83 million from 1.29 million in 2011, an increase of 41,2%. ASEAN and Russia have held regular dialogue to promote tourism. The 4th Meeting of the ASEAN-Russian Federation Tourism Consultation was held on 19 January 2013 in Vientiane, the Lao PDR, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013. The Meeting noted the proposal of Russia to develop guidelines for tourist administrations and other relevant authorities emphasizing on safety and risk management through sharing best practices, as part of the implementation of the measures “develop ASEAN tourism security and safety guideline” under the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015.

17. With the aim of enhancing ASEAN–Russia trade in agriculture and agricultural products as well as cooperation in food and forestry, the 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry, held on 13-14 August 2013 in Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR, approved the Work Programme for ASEAN-Russia Cooperation on Agriculture and Food Security (2013-2015), which consists of 5 Action Programmes.

D. Socio-Cultural Cooperation

18. A number of joint activities have been undertaken in science and technology, energy, SMEs, tourism and human resource development. ASEAN-Russia joint cooperation projects are funded by the ASEAN-Russian Federation Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund (DPFF) established in June 2007 with initial contribution of US$ 500,000. In keeping up with the growing ASEAN-Russia cooperation, Russia has increased annual contribution of USD 1.5 million to the Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund for cooperation projects.

19. To further promote people-to-people contacts, facilitate studies and provide information on ASEAN and Russia, as well as promoting trade, tourism, and awareness of ASEAN and the Russian Federation promote cooperation between ASEAN and Russia, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the ASEAN Centre in Moscow was signed in July 2009. In this connection, the ASEAN Centre at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) was officially launched in Moscow on 15 June 2010.

20. In the area of cultural cooperation, ASEAN and Russia signed the ASEAN-Russia Agreement on Cultural Cooperation on the sidelines of the Second ASEAN-Russia Summit in October 2010 in Ha Noi. The Agreement is aimed at promoting and developing cooperation and exchanges in the fields of music, theatre, archives, libraries, museums, cultural heritage, dance, visual arts, film, copyright, folk-crafts, decorative and applied arts, circus and other artistic forms. Cooperation between ASEAN and Russia after the signing of the Agreement includes, among others, the ASEAN-Russia Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was successfully held in Bali in November 2011, Phnom Penh in November 2012 and in Bandar Seri Begawan in September 2013.

21. In science and technology, ASEAN and Russia have adopted a Plan of Action of the ASEAN-Russia Working Group on Science and Technology (ARWGST) 2007-2011. The Plan of Action provides for enhanced cooperation between ASEAN and Russia in S&T including in the promotion of dialogues among S&T officials, scientists and researchers, and encouragement of technology transfer and exchange. The 6th Meeting of the ARWGST on 10 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, agreed to extend the implementation of the current ARWGST Work Plan from 2012 to 2015.

22. In the cooperation on disaster management, Russia has expressed keen interest in pursuing deeper collaboration. ASEAN and Russia has implemented two relevant workshops, namely “Workshop on Financial Policies for Disaster Response” held on 14-15 August 2012 in Moscow and a workshop on disaster management, entitled “Methodological Support for the Development of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) Based on Experience of the National Crises Management Centre in Russia” on 3-7 March 2013 in Moscow. These workshop kicked start Russia’s engagement on the matter as well as with the AHA Centre.

23. An important initiative to forge people-to-people contact between ASEAN and Russia, the 1st ASEAN-Russia Youth Summit was convened on 13-14 May 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The Youth Summit was organised by the ASEAN Centre in partnership with RIA Novosti Media Holding, and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, the ASEAN Moscow Committee, the ASEAN Secretariat and the Russia-ASEAN Business Council. Continuing the initiative, the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) and the ASEAN Centre co-organised the 2nd ASEAN-Russia Youth Summit, themed “Young ASEAN – Young Russia: Contributors to Greater Connectivity” on 17-19 October 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.

24. ASEAN and Russia are also exploring cooperation in other areas including pandemic diseases, sustaining natural resources, environmental conservation, food security, agriculture, education, transport, and Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).

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[1]ASEAN Trade Statistics Database as of June 2014

[2] ASEAN Tourism Statistics Database as of January 2014