The summit participants discussed current issues of the Asia-Pacific Region, including building up regional security, ensuring sustainable economic growth, and preventing the further spread of the coronavirus infection.
Following the forum, a package of documents was adopted, including the Hanoi Declaration on the 15th anniversary of the East Asia Summit.
The package also contains four statements by the leaders of the countries participating in the summit: on strengthening the collective potential of preventing and countering epidemics, on maritime sustainability, on cooperation in promoting the growth of regional economy, and the role of women in maintaining peace and security.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Chair,
To begin with, I would like to thank Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc for hosting today’s event.
East Asia summits have established themselves as a respected platform for discussing urgent issues affecting the entire Asia-Pacific Region, for a joint search for solutions to the most burning international problems.
This is reflected in the Hanoi Declaration, the main document to be adopted following the summit. I agree with the key idea recorded in the document that our nations must work in concert on preserving peace and stability in Asia-Pacific, and build up cooperation on a wide range of political and economic challenges. It is also crucial that we act on the principles of respect for international law, account for each other’s interests and ensure indivisible security.
Russia consistently advocates the establishment of the atmosphere of constructive cooperation and the enhancement of stability in the Asia-Pacific Region, including in the military political area where risks and threats have grown significantly after the termination of the INF Treaty upon the US initiative.
As you know, in an attempt to stabilise the situation and thwart another round of the arms race, we announced a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and shorter-range missiles in the APR and other regions, for as long as our US partners refrain from such actions. We are open for serious talks on the issue with all interested states.
And, of course, close cooperation and interaction is needed to counter the gravest challenge faced by our region and the entire humankind – the coronavirus pandemic. I note that the Asia-Pacific Region has over 20 million coronavirus patients, which makes up almost half – 43.7 percent of the total number of infected people in the world.
In this context Russia proposed drafting a joint statement to be approved by the leaders of the East Asia Summit participating nations on fighting the coronavirus. I really hope that this documents will be adopted today.
I would also like to remind you that as early as 2016 Russia put forward an initiative of developing anti-infection cooperation in the APR. Its implementation allowed us to establish coordination between epidemiological agencies, arrange experience and information exchanges, and start training specialists in this field. An advanced training programme was launched for epidemiologists from the APR at a centre in Vladivostok, Russia.
The operation of the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) set up in Bangkok with Russia’s active assistance is also very useful. In May, the Centre hosted a command-staff exercise on fighting the pandemic which engaged defence representatives of the ASEAN nations and dialogue partners as well as World Health Organisation experts.
The Russian side is open to further active joint work on the epidemiology track. We have much to offer in terms of scientific, clinical and production experience in fighting infections.
As you probably know, the first coronavirus vaccine in the world, Sputnik V, was developed and is already being used in Russia. Recently we registered another vaccine – EpiVacCorona, and a third vaccine is coming. Dozens of countries have already expressed their interest in working together to organise the supplies and joint manufacturing of these vaccines. We strongly believe that citizens of all countries must have free access to vaccination.
We are ready to provide our partners with Russian test systems, reagents for coronavirus diagnostics, including free of charge. As of now over a million tests have been provided to over 40 countries.
Strengthening business and economic ties is a crucial task for all the nations of our shared region. We see that amid the pandemic in the Asia-Pacific space, mutual trade and investment exchanges are declining and recession has hit key industrial and financial sectors.
Thus, Russia’s trade with the states present at the summit today fell by 12 percent in the first three quarters of the year. We expect that the statement on ensuring stable growth of the region’s economy to be adopted today, proposed by our Chinese partners, will boost the expansion of trade, investment and technological exchanges between our nations.
I believe the build-up of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region will also be enhanced by further development of various integration projects. We are confident that regional and subregional associations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, can interact in the interests of the entire region by harmoniously and effectively complementing each other.
This week’s summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation chaired by Russia adopted a joint statement by the leaders approving the idea of aligning integration efforts and Russia-proposed initiative on establishing the Greater Eurasian Partnership as a single, broad and open space of security and mutually beneficial economic and humanitarian cooperation.
Another topic of crucial importance for all our nations is the digitisation of the economy and introduction of high-tech solutions to improve people’s lives. A great deal is being done in Russia to develop this area. We are seventh in the world today in terms of people’s involvement in the digital economy. A large number of services and support instruments for citizens have already been transferred into an online format.
We welcome the important and timely initiative of smart cities proposed two years ago by Singapore chairmanship, which stipulated the application of advanced urban technologies in the APR nations. On our part, we could offer our own technological know-hows in this area.
Colleagues, I would like to stress in conclusion that the future of the Asia-Pacific Region depends on how closely we will be able to unite in the face of the emerging challenges and threats, to show political will for cooperation in the interests of universal and sustainable development. Such an approach will undoubtedly yield results, and the Russian side is ready to make its contribution to joint work.
Thank you for your attention.