Konstantin Kosachev: Inter-parliamentary contacts with ASEAN countries are an important mechanism for strengthening peace

The senator took part in the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev spoke at the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) held via videoconference.

On behalf of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Mr Kosachev spelled out the Russian Federal Assembly’s approaches to liaising with AIPA and offered its assessment of parliamentary diplomacy potential in the region.

“Russia considers the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as one of the most successful integration groups in the APR. Our dialogue with ASEAN is an essential factor in ensuring stability in the Asia-Pacific region. In the context of the current crisis induced by the pandemic, the strategic partnership between Russia and ASEAN has proved its practical importance,” Konstantin Kosachev said.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has not become an obstacle to the expansion of Russian-ASEAN ties, the senator said. “The dialogue mechanisms on various tracks are up and running as usual, albeit as videoconferencing,” he added.

According to Konstantin Kosachev, the immediate goal on the agenda is completing the Russia-ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action for 2021–2025. It is important to become more effective in countering new challenges and threats, and to establish cooperation on information and communication technology security.

“Russia will continue to assist ASEAN in building up its human resources to fight terrorism and transnational crime. In the economic sphere, we are directing efforts towards boosting cooperation in high-tech and innovative industries and the digital economy; the Russia-ASEAN Business Council facilitates these efforts,” the senator said.

Konstantin Kosachev underscored the importance of inter-parliamentary contacts at the AIPA platform.

“We see it as an important mechanism for strengthening peace and stability, and enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation,” he noted.

In this context, Konstantin Kosachev pointed out that any sanctions against parliamentarians are unacceptable.

“A constructive dialogue allows us to hear and understand each other. In this regard, we look forward to your active involvement in the planned World Conference on Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue that Russia is going to host in May 2022. The event is being organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and supported by the UN. Heads of state, parliamentarians and representatives of world religions are expected to participate,” Konstantin Kosachev said.

The Russian senator also invited ASEAN women parliamentarians to take part in the 3rd Eurasian Women's Forum scheduled to be held in September 2021 in St Petersburg.

On 8–10 September 2020, the National Assembly (NA) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is hosting the 41st AIPA General Assembly. The meeting, with the theme “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN community,” was held via videoconference.

Russia annually participates in the AIPA General Assemblies as an observer.