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Medvedev to discuss energy security, natural disasters with ASEAN

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting on ways to ease Moscow traffic jams in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, on October 28, 2010. (DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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October 29, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA  NOVOSTI) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will discuss energy security and disaster response with Southeast Asian leaders at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Vietnam on Saturday, a presidential aide said.

Sergei Prikhodko said on Friday that discussions at the meeting in Hanoi would also cover trade and space cooperation.

Medvedev is due in Vietnam on an official visit at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Minh Triet.

“The forthcoming summit will be an important step in solving the task… of strengthening our country’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region and increasing participation in the regional integration process in order to boost modernization and innovative development of the national economy,” Prikhodko said.

Russia holds partner status in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional grouping of 10 Southeast Asian states. Next year marks 15 years of the Russia-ASEAN partnership.

“Among the priorities of Russian-ASEAN cooperation are increased trade and economic ties, cooperation in regional energy security, modern technologies, space exploration, medicine, information technologies and machine-building,” Prikhodko said.

In the run-up to the summit, Russia and ASEAN adopted an energy cooperation program encompassing both nonrenewable and renewable energy sources, as well as environmentally-friendly technologies.

“Particular attention will be paid to building up cooperation in disaster response,” the Kremlin aide said.

ASEAN was established in August 1967 and comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. The United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the EU, South Korea, India, China and Russia hold a partner status in the organization. Papua New Guinea has a special observer status.

The organization’s goal is contributing to the development of member countries’ social, economic and cultural cooperation, as well as to the consolidation of peace and stability in Southeast Asia.

With a total population of 580 million people, GDP of $1.5 trillion, stable economic growth and foreign trade turnover of $1.7 trillion, ASEAN remains one of the world’s largest regional bodies, playing an important role in shaping security and cooperation in Asia-Pacific.

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti)

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