Jakarta. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened Russia's Permanent Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta on Wednesday (09/08), marking the country's commitment to deepen relations with the regional bloc.
"Our decision to open this mission confirms our commitment to further Russia-Asean cooperation in the foreign policy dimension [...] and our resolve to boost dialogue with Asean and take our partnership to a strategic level," Lavrov said during the mission's launch at the Mulia Hotel in South Jakarta.
The mission will be led by Russia's former ambassador to Indonesia, Alexander Ivanov, who was appointed the first Russian ambassador to Asean in 2009.
Lavrov said the mission in Jakarta seeks to "fulfill an ambitious task," with more than 20 initiatives planned to increase Russia-Asean cooperation in education, food security and energy.
"Just recently in Manila, we decided to boost partnerships in security and development," Lavrov said.
Asean and Russia on Sunday also agreed to increase cooperation in counterterrorism, issuing restrictions on travels to the Middle East and curbing the flow of money from international terrorist groups.
Russia and Asean economy ministers will meet again at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sept. 6-7, which will also invite businesses for a series of meetings on its sidelines.
"After 21 years of Asean-Russia partnership, we have enjoyed significant benefits on both sides and [I am] confident the establishment of the dedicated mission to Asean will further our partnership in the coming years," Asean secretary general Le Luong Minh said.
Formal relations between Asean and Russia were established in 1996.
Minh said the Russian mission "completes the presence of all our partners in Asean."
The opening ceremony saw in attendance Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.