Brunei, Russia vow to boost ties

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI and Russia have pledged to boost trade and economic relations, as well as enhance cooperation in a number of fields including defence and energy.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Sochi.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said both countries are also keen to enhance joint efforts in transport, culture, health, education and tourism.

Leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries are in Sochi for the two-day summit, which marks 20 years since Russia was elevated to a full dialogue partner of ASEAN.

The forum serves as platform for leaders to chart the future direction of the partnership.

According to the ASEAN secretariat, the leaders will adopt the ‘Sochi Declaration’, a document aimed at guiding the ASEAN-Russia partnership over the next five years.

The leaders will also review a report from the ASEAN-Russia Eminent Persons Group outlining recommendations to deepen two-way engagement.

Two-way trade between ASEAN and Russia reached US$23 billion in 2015, representing 350 per cent growth over the past eight years.

“ASEAN and the Russian Federation are also exploring cooperation in other areas including… pandemic diseases, sustaining natural resources, environmental conservation, food security, agriculture, education, transport, and Initiative for ASEAN Integration,” said the PMO.

Accompanying His Majesty during the summit are Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister at the PMO YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Energy and Industry at the PMO YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar and Brunei’s ambassador to Russia, Hj Haini Hj Hashim.

His Majesty arrived in Sochi yesterday morning to attend the 20th ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit, being held at Radisson Blu Resort and Congress Centre, Sochi, from May 19 to 20.

Present at Sochi International Airport to greet His Majesty were Yuri Filatov, director of the Department of State Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Sergey Altukhov, Deputy Head of Administration (Governor) of the Krasnodar region.

Also present to greet His Majesty were Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar and Hj Haini Hj Hashim, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Brunei to Russia.

The Brunei Times