PRESS RELEASE 

1.         The Third Meeting of the ASEAN-Russia Joint Cooperation Committee (ARJCC) was held on 20 September 2002 in Moscow, Russia.  Delegates from the Russian Federation and the ten ASEAN member countries, and the ASEAN Secretariat attended the meeting.  The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Alexander P. Losukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and H.E. Ms. Suchitra Hiranprueck, Director General of Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.

 

2.         The Meeting was preceded by the Second Meeting of the ASEAN-Russia Joint Planning and Management Committee (ARJPMC) and the First ASEAN-Russia Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ARWGTEC) on 19 September 2002.

 

3.         In his opening remarks, H.E. Mr. Alexander P. Losukov underscored the positive and progressive development in cooperation between ASEAN and Russia in the political, economic and other fields.  He called for new impetus in the cooperation for the mutual benefit of the peoples of ASEAN and Russia.  He underlined the potentials and prospects for cooperation and the synergies that could be tapped through closer interactions.  

 

4.         In her opening remarks, H.E. Ms. Suchitra Hiranprueck reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to strengthening ASEAN-Russia relations in the economic, social and development cooperation areas.  She expressed confidence that the establishment of the ARJPMC and the ARWGTEC would help the work of the ARJCC to consolidate ASEAN-Russia trade and economic, and development cooperation thereby moving the dialogue partnership to a new height. 

 

Establishing a New Momentum for ASEAN-Russia Cooperation

 

5.         ASEAN and Russia noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in cooperation in the political, economic and other fields.  They affirmed their commitment to strengthening the cooperation to establish a new momentum in the relations.  At the same time, they acknowledged that the potentials and opportunities presented by the dialogue relations had not been sufficiently tapped and agreed to look into ways and means to fully realise the benefits from closer cooperation. 

 

6.         ASEAN and Russia agreed to focus the cooperation in mutually beneficial areas of trade and economic, science and technology, academic cooperation, transport and combating transnational crime, in particular terrorism.  In this context, they agreed to a work programme, which would act as a guide for the cooperation.  The work programme outlines dedicated activities to forge cooperation in the agreed areas with specific timelines for the implementation of the activities. 

 

7.         They agreed to explore the possibility of signing a cooperation agreement to inject new dynamism and ensure the availability of more resources for the cooperation thereby adding more substance, and bringing forth greater benefits for both sides.  In the meantime, ASEAN and Russia agreed to initiate sectoral cooperation in a number of agreed areas with a view of implementing cooperation projects in these areas with the assistance of the relevant sectoral ministries of Russia.

 

8.         Russia presented a number of proposals for cooperation in the areas of peaceful use of nuclear energy, transport, academic cooperation, and finance and banking that could be carried out within the dialogue framework.

 

9.         Russia agreed to consider participating in the programmes of ASEAN for economic integration and narrowing development gaps, specifically the implementation of the Ha Noi Plan of Action, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and the ASEAN-Mekong Basin Development Cooperation.  In this context, ASEAN encouraged Russia to consider the projects proposals that were developed for the various ASEAN programmes, especially the proposals that were presented at the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Development Cooperation Forum (IDCF) held in August 2002 in Jakarta in which Russia participated. 

 

10.       Russia commended ASEAN efforts in forging cooperation to combating terrorism and other transnational crimes.  ASEAN and Russia acknowledged that counter terrorism could be a potential area for collaboration and agreed to hold consultations between their experts soon in Jakarta to look into possible joint cooperation initiatives.    

 

11.       ASEAN and Russia agreed to explore cooperation between ASEAN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.  In this regard, the Special Envoy of the President of Russia in the SCO would be undertaking a visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to brief the Secretary General of ASEAN on the SCO and its activities, and to identify possibilities for collaboration between the two organisations.

 

Next Meeting

 

12.       The Fourth Meeting of the ARJCC will be held in Singapore in the second half of 2003.