ASEAN Centre in MGIMO-University the MFA of Russia

Центр АСЕАН при МГИМО

Second Meeting of the Network of ASEAN-Russia Think Tanks

Second Meeting of the Network of ASEAN-Russia Think Tanks

20.11.2020

November 19th, the second meeting of the Network of ASEAN-Russia Think Tanks (NARTT) began its work remotely. The event was organized this year by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia (CSIS Indonesia).

Among those attending were MGIMO’s Vice-Rector for General Affairs A.Malgin, the Director of the ASEAN Centre V.Sumsky, the Professor of the Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy Y.Dubinin and the Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies, Leading Expert of the ASEAN Centre E.Koldunova.

The General Director of the ASEAN Cooperation Department of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Suryedi Puro, the Permanent Representative of Russia to ASEAN A.Ivanov, the Vice-Rector for General Affairs of MGIMO A.Malgin and the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia Philips Vermonte greeted the audience, which comprised representatives of the top think tanks of all ten ASEAN countries and Russia.

In his welcome speech, Suryedi Puro underlined the importance of maintaining research contacts along the Russia-ASEAN line and noted that the existing NARTT research network is an effective platform to exchange ideas on how to expand the cooperation between both sides. A.Ivanov emphasized the need to pursue a constructive dialogue on international relations, before wishing the participants productive discussions. MGIMO’s Vice-Rector for General Affairs A.Malgin gave a presentation on the activities of the ASEAN Center, which kept on working during the lockdown by transferring its work online. Philips Vermonte shared his thoughts on the relevance of the topics of the two sessions of the first day of the meeting, which were dedicated to issues of regional security during the pandemic and the prospects for cooperation between Russia and ASEAN in the field of emergency response.

The Director of the ASEAN Center V.Sumsky contributed to the work of the first session on the Russian side. He outlined the current security processes in the region and noted that in his opinion, the further development of the security situation will be impacted by such factors as the American-Chinese rivalry, the formation of new dialogue platforms of the Quad and Quad-Plus format, the differences in interpretations of the concept of the Indo-Pacific region and the current pandemic.

During the second session, dedicated to emergency response, the Deputy Head of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Civil Defence and Emergencies of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia gave a talk, presenting the activities of the Institute, the Russian technological developments in dealing with emergency situations and outlined the promising spheres for collaboration with ASEAN.

As the first day of the conference came to a close, the participants made a number of suggestions on how to boost the strategic partnership between Russia and ASEAN in the field of security and emergency response.

On November 20th, the second day of the NARTT meeting unfolded with the representatives of think tanks from ASEAN countries and Russia. The sides discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic development and the prospects for its recovery as well as the development of trade relations between Russia and ASEAN in the new context.

On the Russian side, the Program Director of the Valdai Discussion Club Y.Lisovolik gave a talk during which he shared his vision of the further development of economic processes and analysed the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Russian economy. He also mulled over the possible measures to rebuild the ASEAN bloc after the end of the pandemic.

The meeting participants considered a new promising area of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN: the joint fight against international terrorism. The Head of the Research Centre for the Study of New Challenges and Threats at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy A.Varfolomeev spoke about the need to expand cooperation in fighting terrorism, both at the level of interaction between security agencies and relevant services and at the expert level. A.Varfolomeev noted the importance of joint research on counterterrorism and of the timely exchange of data and information.

The Director of the ASEAN Center V.Sumsky and the Leading Expert of the Centre, the Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies E.Koldunova actively contributed to the discussions.

The two-day NARTT meeting was closed by the General Director of the ASEAN Cooperation Department of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Suryedi Puro, the Permanent Representative of Russia to ASEAN A.Ivanov, the Director of the ASEAN Centre V.Sumsky and the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia Philips Vermonte. They expressed satisfaction at the high quality of the discussions and gratitude to Indonesian side for successfully organizing the online event. The main recommendations on the Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership resulting from the meeting will be passed on to senior officials of Russia and ASEAN countries.

The first meeting of the Network of ASEAN-Russian Think Tanks, coordinated by the ASEAN Centre, took place at MGIMO in April 2018.