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Commentary by Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, for Mass Media after the Talks with Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Naypyidaw, January 16, 2013

16-01-2013, 17:32

I am very glad to be in Myan mar with a return visit. Our countries have developed traditionally friendly and trustful relations, and in February we will celebrate the 65thanniversary of diplomatic relations. I am satisfied to tell you that my colleague and I agreed to hold a special event on that occasion.

Russia sympathizes with the policy pursued by Myanmar’s leaders and reforms aimed at upgrading public life and economy and developing contacts with other world. We are confident that its consistent implementation will open up new opportunities to deepen our bilateral ties in various fields.

Russia consistently calls for lifting sanctions regimes which still apply to Myanmar. In the current situation, we do not see any justification for them.

Bilateral economic cooperation has good prospects and potential which has not been fully realized. But it can realized more effectively with the establishment of the bilateral intergovernmental Myanmar-Russian commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation as we have agreed today, and an appropriate agreement will be signed soon.

We have also agreed to accelerate the preparation of the intergovernmental agreement on the encouragement and mutual protection of investments. It will certainly create a solid legal foundation for Russian companies to come to Myanmar. Our Myanmar friends are interested in that. I am confident that possible establishment of the Business Council of which we also talked today will facilitate our investment and general economic interaction.

Myanmar and Russia have traditionally close humanitarian ties. Today, we have also agreed to finalize the program of cultural cooperation for the next three years. We have also discussed expanding cooperation in education. We appreciate an interest shown by our Myanmar friends to sending their citizens to receive education in Russia and study Russian language. We expect the center of the Russian World Fund to be opened soon at the University of Foreign Languages (Yangon).

Minister Wunna Maung Lwin expressed an interest in training of Myanmar diplomats in Russia, in particular in the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation. We will necessarily arrange that.

Today, we discussed regional and international affairs in detail. We share a common approach to the problems of the modern world according to which all states should respect international law, the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council and strive to settle all disputes exclusively through peaceful, political and diplomatic means.

As concerns Asia and the Pacific, we are convinced of the need to establish a universal architecture which is acceptable for all and based on the principle of indivisibility of security. In this context, we believe that ASEAN should continue to play a central role in that process.

Myanmar has played an extremely important role in enhancing partnership between Russia and ASEAN when our Myanmar friends acted as coordinators of ASEAN-Russia Business Partnership in 2009-2012. We appreciate their efforts undertaken to develop cooperation with Russia.

We expect that Myanmar will continue its efforts to deepen partnership between Russia and countries of South East Asia, especially in view of the fact that this country will chair ASEAN.

I would like to thank my colleague once again for hospitality and cordial attention to our delegation. I hope that Minister Wunna Maung Lwin will be able to visit Moscow when it is convenient for him.

Thank you.



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