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The development of cooperation with ASEAN is a top priority of Russia's foreign policy
The development of cooperation with ASEAN is a top priority of Russia's foreign policy, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry told on Tuesday. According to him, Russia regards ASEAN "as a center of influence in the Asia-Pacific region" and "the core of regional integration". From July 1 to 2 Jakarta will host an ASEAN conference and the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum. At the Forum Russia will focus on the promotion of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and exports control, Mr. Yakovenko said. "Russia will insist that any Forum's reforms and its adaptation to new tasks should be balanced and based on the principles of consensus, voluntarism and key ASEAN's role and should meet the interests of all sides," the diplomat noted. Pakistan's forthcoming accession to the Forum may have a positive influence on the situation in South Asia, Alexander Yakovenko stressed. In his words, Russia deems it important to develop further dialogue between defense representatives within the Forum, which is getting more and more profound. Speaking about international security, Mr. Yakovenko emphasized that Russia welcomes the new ASEAN conference on security policy, which is to play a key role in the Forum's military efficiency. Moreover, Russia as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) "is to use the Jakarta events to establish mutually beneficial contacts between the SCO and ASEAN", he added. The ASEAN Regional Forum is the international organization for security dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1994. It comprises the ASEAN member-states, the ASEAN dialogue partners (Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, Russia, China and India) and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
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