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Sochi Declaration Highlights Economic and Security Cooperation between Russia and Association of South East Asian Nations

May 20, 2016 (EIRNS)—Following the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit held at Sochi on May 19-20, the participating heads of state and government have issued a declaration that emphasizes stronger economic linkages and joint efforts to develop a reliable and open security architecture for the Asia-Pacific region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference, the Kremlin website reported.

Cooperation in these fields is

"based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and shared responsibility to promote peace, stability, security, prosperity, economic growth, sustainable development and social progress in the Asia-Pacific region with a view to working towards a strategic partnership,"

the Declaration states.

Plans for deepening economic interaction in 2016-2020, include steps to develop cooperation in trade, investments, finance, energy, industry and mineral resources, transport as well as tourism and socio-cultural areas. Oil and gas, electric power, energy efficiency, civilian nuclear energy, and renewable energy to enhance energy security; promote cooperation in agriculture, ensuring national and regional food security, as well as the expansion of trade and investments in food products. Financing of joint infrastructure projects is to be expanded.

Space frontiers were not ignored. The nations agreed to "promote scientific and technological cooperation aimed at facilitating an innovation economy in areas such as aeronautics, bio-, nano-, and space technologies and medicine, and to

"explore cooperation through the transfer of technologies, joint technological research and development as well as capacity building in space technology and its applications."

The national leaders discussed the possibility of establishing a comprehensive free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and ASEAN, at their working breakfast meeting, and there was "unanimous support for this idea," President Putin told the concluding press conference.

Asked by a journalist if he knew what "our SCO partner, China," thinks of this initiative, Putin answered confidently:

"As for our Chinese friends, we will need to discuss this matter with them, but overall, we know their position. The Silk Road Economic Belt idea is close in spirit to the proposals we discussed today. I therefore see no contradictions here. On the contrary, knowing China’s position on forging links between the Silk Road Economic Belt project and the Eurasian Economic Union, we see that all of our plans in this respect tend towards the same objective, and so we are sure that there will be positive work together."

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