Russian Ambassador to Brunei Vladlen Semivolos. Picture: BT file
BY QURATUL-AIN BANDIAL
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, is slated to attend the first ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Sochi next month.
Scheduled for May 19 to 20, the summit will mark the 20th anniversary Russia was elevated to a full dialogue partner of ASEAN. Leaders of all 10 ASEAN member states have been invited to attend. “At the invitation of my president, Mr Vladmir Putin, His Majesty consented to take part in the summit so he will be attending personally,” the Russian ambassador Vladlen Semivolos told The Brunei Timesyesterday.
He added that the monarch will also hold a bilateral meeting with President Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
“During the summit there will be a broad discussion on the topics of international and regional issues. Then there will be a discussion on further development of Russia and ASEAN relationship in various aspects with special emphasis on bilateral trade, economic and cultural, educational and humanitarian cooperation,” Semivolos said.
According to the ASEAN secretariat, the leaders will adopt a joint declaration to guide and advance the ASEAN-Russia partnership. The leaders will also receive a report from the ASEAN-Russia Eminent Persons Group outlining recommendations to deepen two-way engagement.
“We consider the relationship between Russia and ASEAN to be at its best now and we are expecting it to be promoted and expanded in various fields in the future. This summit will be a milestone in the relationship,” the ambassador said.
Two-way trade between ASEAN and Russia reached US$23 billion in 2015, representing 350 per cent growth over the past eight years.
Tourist arrivals from Russia are also on the rise, with 2.4 million visiting ASEAN countries last year.
A Russian delegation, led by the country’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Vedev, is currently in Brunei to explore business and investment opportunities.
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times