ASEAN member states have considered the possibility of joint naval exercise with Russian Navy.
Such information was put forth at ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting convened on March 24, according to The Voice of Vietnam (VOV).
|Russian Navy stealth patrol vessel Vasily Bykov (368) Project 22160. Photo: Russia's Ministry of Defense|
No details on the joint exercise have been disclosed at the two-day meeting under the chair of Permanent Secretary of the Brunei Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar Bin Haji Ma’awiah, the VOV reported.
News on ASEAN-Russia joint navy drills was released in February 2020 when Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vnukov said in an interview with the Russian Press Agency Sputnik. He said ASEAN and Russia were actively working on the idea to conduct joint exercise.
“Perhaps, the head of the Russian Federation's government put forward the initiative to hold Russia-ASEAN navy drills last November not without reason. There are active negotiations on the matter, and, highly important, the mood is positive,” Vnukov said.
In November 2019, Russia’s then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believed that joint naval exercise between Russia and ASEAN is possible.
He said in an interview with Bangkok Post on the eve of the ASEAN Business Investment Summit and the 14th East Asia Summit, adding that Russia was working on Russia’s contribution to enhancing ASEAN’s maritime security capabilities.
|Vietnam's Deputy Defense Minister Sen. Lt. Gen Hoang Xuan Chien at the meeting on March 24. Photo: VNA|
At the meeting, participants, including Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen Hoang Xuan Chien, have also discussed on the hosting of an unofficial ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)+1.
During that meeting, the Bruneian official emphasized the need of cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and the importance of vaccination in the regional countries, saying it’s the best way to conduct recovery plans.