Medvedev spoke about the possibility of Russia-ASEAN naval exercises

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggested thinking about the possibility of conducting naval exercises in the format of the Russia-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which, he said, would increase the security of all participating countries.

In anticipation of the ASEAN Investment Summit and the East Asian Summit, Medvedev gave an interview to the Thai Bangkok Post newspaper. One of the questions concerned Russia’s assistance in enhancing ASEAN’s maritime security capabilities. The Prime Minister indicated that Russia is already addressing these challenges.

He recalled that the ships of the Russian Navy annually make friendly calls at the ports of Southeast Asia. According to him, such visits to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have become traditional.

“Last year, Russian sailors visited Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei, this year they have visited the Philippines. Vietnamese and Thai sailors visited Vladivostok”, – Medvedev said.

According to him, Russia is already conducting naval exercises with a number of ASEAN participants.

“For example, their organization is provided for by a memorandum of cooperation in the naval field, signed with Thailand a few days ago. The first exercises in history with Brunei are being prepared”, – said the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that maneuvers at sea in the framework of SMOA Plus, meetings of ASEAN defense ministers with dialogue partners, have become widespread, the last of which took place in April-May this year in Singapore.

“You might think about launching such exercises in the Russian-ASEAN format. Moreover, the association has such practice with other major powers. I’m sure this will increase the maritime security of the top ten”, – Medvedev said

He noted that there were several venues where these prospects are being discussed: the East Asian Summit, the ASEAN Regional Security Forum, the ASEAN Enhanced Marine Forum, and SMOA Plus.

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