March 1 marked the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Day. This year we celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Since joining the forum in 2010, Russia has been promoting practical cooperation across a variety of fields, including through the implementation of specific sectoral projects. As one of the ASEM Asian Group Coordinators (since the second half of 2019), we have been directing the forum’s efforts to deepen continent-wide connectivity in all its aspects and manifestations forming a single Eurasian contour of inter-regional cooperation.
Russia’s initiatives under ASEM include the High-Level Conference on Intercultural and Inter-religious Dialogue (St. Petersburg, 2014), the Education Senior Officials’ Meeting (Moscow, 2016), as well as the Summer University project (Vladivostok, Chita and Irkutsk, 2016).
In 2019, we launched the STIpot academic mobility digital platform as a communication channel between research and education communities in ASEM countries. To date, over 2,500 researchers, teachers and students from Asia and Europe have become registered users.
In the first half of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia came up with a proposal to build transcontinental supply chains via rail transport. At the same time, we are among the coordinators of the ASEM project for implementing advanced technological solutions in customs cooperation.
Last year one of the forum’s outcomes was the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Statement on COVID-19 adopted by the Regional Coordinators (Russia, EU, Germany and Singapore) and Cambodia as the Chair of the 13th ASEM Summit scheduled this autumn.
In the context of preparations for the Summit, we see good prospects for achieving positive and tangible results in post-pandemic socio-economic recovery. Our experience and practical achievements in countering COVID-19 attract interest in many ASEM nations. We will continue to share our expertise in this area with our partners.
This year we came up with an important social initiative to establish direct contacts between volunteer organizations in Asian and European countries. As we saw last year, these movements have played and continue to play a cementing role in the civil context in our fight against pandemic challenges.
At the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting held on March 1-2 via videoconference, we once again called for a pragmatic and depoliticized approach to promoting multilateral cooperation.