Coronavirus epidemic should not affect Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership – FM

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov chaired a special videoconference with his counterparts from the ASEAN countries on responding to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, Foreign Ministry’s website reports.

“The pandemic had a significant impact on global politics and economy. Clearly, the ever increasing turbulence should make us all search for balanced and appropriate responses to major risks and challenges,” Lavrov said in his opening remarks. “We believe the coronavirus epidemic should not affect our efforts to gradually build up the Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership. It is time to complete the approval of the Russia-ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action for 2021-2025 and documents on countering new challenges and threats.”

The videoconference participants agreed to step up joint efforts on fighting the pandemic and its socioeconomic consequences and expressed common interest in more actively using the ASEAN-Russian Federation Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund for carrying out joint projects including on enhancing the potential of fighting COVID-19.

“We discussed specific, general and current tasks on countering the coronavirus infection and the consequences of the pandemic in terms of global policy and the economy,” Lavrov noted at a media conference following the videoconference, and added, “We reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening our partnership and using its potential for overcoming all aspects of the crisis.”

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