On the Road to the Enhanced Russia-ASEAN Connectivity: Why Are the Russia-ASEAN Youth Summits Important?

After ASEAN announced its road map for connectivity, this concept has gained considerable credence and now it is employed to describe the intensification of links within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its counterparts. Youth connectivity is becoming a promising dimension of the general Russia-ASEAN connectivity plan. It has materialised in the form of the Russia-ASEAN Youth Summits, which have proved to provide a lasting platform for exchange of views, demonstrating creativity and understanding identity. These summits, which are becoming a pleasant tradition, ensure the implementation of the ‘connectivity’ idea in the following ways.

First, the Russia-ASEAN Youth Summits facilitate junior intellectuals in undertaking research and making thought-provoking assumptions about the regional order, intra- and inter-regional cooperation as well as the processes they are constituted by; different views can be expressed and assessed by both insiders and outer partners, which contributes not only to better understanding of identity but also to the cumulative knowledge about Russia-ASEAN relations. Second, the summits are fertile for various collaborative projects, especially in educational or cultural exchange. Third, given the Russia-ASEAN youth dialogue embracing the most enthusiastic and committed interlocutors, on the margins of summits people-to-people connectivity provides an opportunity for students from Russian and ASEAN universities to make mutually beneficial contacts even before they go to politics or business and advance the dialogue on an informal level.

The forthcoming Second Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit promises to be the next historic step in promoting the connectivity. The workshops proposed by the Russia and Malaysian counterparts will be a great intellectual contribution to our knowledge about each other. I would like to especially thank our Malaysian friends for their kind assistance in the preparation for the summit. I expect it to be a great intellectual and cultural event which will find its manifestation not only in final documents and statements but also in mutual affinity and undertakings.

Anatoly Mateiko

I am in the fourth year of course in Area Studies (School of International Relations, MGIMO). ASEAN is the region of my specialisation, the Malay world (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei) in particular. I study the Indonesian language as one of my core courses as well as English, German and Dutch.

I participated in the 1st Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit held in Moscow in May 2013, one of the authors of the presentation ‘Russia and ASEAN After 2015’ , emphasising the fields of Russia-ASEAN cooperation. In August 2013 I visited Malaysia and learned a lot about its history and culture, visited the National Museum of Malaysia as well as conducted some research at the National Archive (Akrib Negara Malaysia). In summer 2014 I studied the international relations of Asia-Pacific at the University of Oxford and prepared an essay on the role of East Asian institutions in a cooperative regional security order.

Research interests: ethno-political history of the Southeast Asia and the emergence of modern borders; bumiputera’s ‘special rights’ and affirmative action in Malaysia; security in Asia-Pacific and regional institutions.

Hobbies: piano, gardening.

 



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