East Asia Summit key part of Russian relations with region

The article by ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute senior fellow Ian Storey (Why Putin attends Apec meets but skips East Asia summits; Oct 19) contains remarks which cause deep concern.

Dr Storey seems to ignore the well-established principles of ethics and takes much liberty in his deliberations about the Russian leaders.

The use of the word "marginalised" to characterise Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is a harsh insult which cannot be excused or tolerated.

While nobody can prevent Dr Storey from expressing his personal opinion on any issues of Russian foreign policy, his conclusion that Moscow "views the EAS as long on symbolism but short on substance", based exclusively on the fact that President Vladimir Putin does not attend the East Asia Summit (EAS), is short-sighted and does not reflect the reality.

We regard the EAS as a foothold in a new system of international relations in the Asia-Pacific, and a key regional mechanism to discuss truly strategic issues.

It is worth remembering that Russia, together with China and Brunei, initiated the EAS dialogue to set up a new security and cooperation architecture based on the mutually acceptable "rules of the game" in the region.

We enjoy close relations with Asean, which is one of the most important and fast-growing "poles" in the modern world, and have a precise strategic partnership agenda fixed in the Political Declaration and Comprehensive Plan of Action to Promote Cooperation for 2016-2020, adopted at the Russia-Asean Sochi Summit in May last year.

Unlike a few other Asean dialogue partners, Russia has its embassies in all countries in South-east Asia. This year, we established the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to Asean in Jakarta.

I sincerely hope that the fellows and experts of the academic community in Singapore will try to avoid unsubstantiated remarks in their publications, in the interests of objectivity and professionalism.

Andrey Tatarinov

Ambassador of the Russian Federation

Republic of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2017, with the headline 'East Asia Summit key part of Russian relations with region'. Print Edition | Subscribe