They made the comment at an international seminar on achievements, difficulties and challenges facing the bloc's integration held Moscow on May 25 and 26. The event, co-organized by two academies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, gathered representatives of ASEAN embassies and 40 Russian and international experts.
The hybrid event saw 30 presentations in five working sessions, whose topics revolved around ASEAN's external relations policy, relations with strategic partners, experience in regional integration, and sustainable development. Participants analyzed ASEAN's roles and stances on building a regional security structure; and development orientations in digitization, climate change, and migration, among others.
Grigory Trofimchuk, Chairman of the Council of Experts of the Eurasian Research Fund, affirmed the rising role and importance in the political and economic spheres of the bloc in the world, especially for Russia in the current global context.
Regarding the role of Vietnam in ASEAN, Valeria Vershinina from the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) said with a large number of regional and international trade and economic agreements signed, the country plays an important role in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
Within the ASEAN framework, Vietnam’s leadership is demonstrated via initiatives to narrow the development gap between the old and new members of the association and promote the continuous adaptation of "newcomers" to existing activities in the grouping, Vershinina added.
The expert spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in mobilizing countries in the region to sign the Treaty of Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone as well as in promoting an agenda seeking solutions for disputes in the East Sea (South China Sea) and the start of negotiations on a related Code of Conduct of Parties (COC).
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