ASEAN Open to Interaction With Russia Despite US Pressure, Permanent Representative Says

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 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization of ten member states in Southeast Asia. It serves as a platform for political and economic cooperation among its members. In late April, Russian and the bloc reaffirmed their commitment to advancing cooperation and strengthening their partnership.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is open to interaction with Russia despite unprecedented pressure from the United States, Russia's Permanent Representative to ASEAN Yevgeny Zagainov said in an interview with Sputnik.
“In the current conditions, the association, being under unprecedented pressure from Washington and its allies who are trying to isolate Russia by any means and push it to the periphery of regional processes, remains open to interaction with our country,” Zagainov said.
He said Russia-ASEAN ties have been tested by time since historically Russia has built its relations with the states of Southeast Asia on the basis of equality and mutual respect, never imposing its will on partners in the region.
“The joint statement on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the strategic partnership between Russia and ASEAN, adopted in 2023, directly notes the significant contribution of our relations to the development of ASEAN integration,” Zagainov said.
ASEAN consists of ten Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. East Timor is preparing to become the eleventh ASEAN state in the near future.
Zagainov said Moscow expects that the Southeast Asian nations will not succumb to Western pressure and demands to spread accusations against Russia.
“Amid unrestrained anti-Russian campaign of the West, ASEAN firmly adheres to balanced approaches and does not allow any attacks against our country in its documents. The West is unlikely this year to abandon its destructive line of 'Ukrainization' of ASEAN-centric sites. We hope that ASEAN, under the chairmanship of Laos, with our active participation and support, will be able to cope with its pressure,” he said.
Zagainov also said the importance of China as a partner of Southeast Asia in trade and investment is increasing, and the United States is far from such indicators.