Outcomes of the Conference “Russia and ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific Region: Dynamics of Cooperation, Regional Processes and Global Context”

Outcomes of the Conference “Russia and ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific Region: Dynamics of Cooperation, Regional Processes and Global Context”

14 October 2023

On October 12–14, 2023, within the framework of the XV RISA Convention, the annual academic conference “Russia and ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific Region: Dynamics of Cooperation, Regional Processes and Global Context” took place. This year the conference was dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership.

The opening ceremony of the conference took place on October 12. Such distinguished guests as H.E. Mr. Sergei Glazyev, Member of the Board – Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, H.E. Mr. Andrey Rudenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Evgeny Zagaynov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Mai Sayavongs, Director General of the Institute of Foreign Affairs, the MFA of the Lao PDR, Dr. Fajar Hirawan, Head of the Department of Economics, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Mr. Boris Michel, Head of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, Mr. Ivan Polyakov, Chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council, and Dr. Andrey Baykov, MGIMO Vice-Rector for Science and Research, were keynote speakers at the opening ceremony. The session was moderated by Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Director of the ASEAN Centre, Associate Professor of the Department of Asian and African Studies, MGIMO. 

During the three days of the conference, about 100 participants presented their papers. Apart from that, the conference features presentations and announcements of new publications on ASEAN, ten Russian-language and three English-language sessions. As a part of the collective monograph ASEAN on the Way of Integration: Achievements, Challenges, Dilemmas presentation Mr. Nikita Kondratiev, Director of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, addressed the conference participants. For the first time since Covid-19 restrictions, the majority of foreign speakers participated in the conference in person. Representatives of all ten countries of the Association, researchers from Moscow and regional universities and research institutes, as well as representatives of international organizations attended the conference.

During the first day of the conference the discussion focused on the ASEAN's role on the international arena, its achievements and challenges, threats that the region has been facing today. The conference participants also discussed the problems of military and technical cooperation and ASEAN-Russia cooperation in the spheres of security and maintaining regional stability.

On the second day of the conference participants focused on the current problems and trends and promising areas of ASEAN-Russia cooperation, such as digital transformation, humanitarian issues and energy development trends. The second day sessions also discussed bilateral and multilateral cooperation, ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership, the cooperation between ASEAN and its other Dialogue Partners, including various joint economic and other projects.

The third day of the conference traditionally featured the youth sessions. BA and MA students presented their research results that led to the fruitful discussionand facilitated the establishment of new contacts between universities and their students' communities. In their presentations, young scholars touched upon such topics as the best practices of ASEAN-Russia cooperation, discussed current political and socio-economic processes in Southeast Asia, and provided detailed analysis of ASEAN-Russia relations as well as the Association's relation with other Dialogue Partners in the field of energy and mining.

The conference also included an announcement and presentation of new books on ASEAN development and ASEAN-Russia cooperation. On October 12, the conference audience attended the presentation of a comprehensive collective monograph ASEAN on the Way of Integration: Achievements, Challenges, Dilemmas, published by the Aspect Press publishing house, edited by Dr. Vladimir Mazyrin and Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova. The collective monograph is the result of a long-term research work and a series of conferences held at MGIMO and the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As of today, this monograph remains the most comprehensive publication in the Russia, dedicated to a wide range of issues devoted to ASEAN. Dr. Andrey Baykov, MGIMO Vice-Rector for Science and Research, Dr. Vladimir Mazyrin and Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova took part in the presentation as key speakers.

On October 13, the conference featured the announcement of the Russian-language translation of the book by the famous Singaporean diplomat Mr. Bilahari Kausikan Dealing with an Ambiguous World (the editor of the Russian translation is Dr. Victor Sumsky, Senior Expert of the ASEAN Centre). The announcement of the Russian editionof the book included an interview with Mr. Bilahari Kausikan, the book’s author, conducted by Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, the Director of the ASEAN Centre. The author shared with the audience his thoughts on the relevance of the conclusions of his book in the new international realities and thanked his colleagues from MGIMO for their attention to his work and the desire to make it accessible for the Russian audience.

About thirty volunteers from different Schools of the University took part in preparing the conference. During these three days they helped the ASEAN Centre’s staff with the event organization.

The ASEAN Centre expresses its gratitude to the interns, volunteers, interpreters and administrative services of the MGIMO University for their assistance in the conference organization, as well as to all guests, partners and speakers of the conference for their cooperation and contribution to the productive discussion.

The conference received wide coverage in the media (TASS, Vietnamplus, Vnews, AK&M, Sputnik Armenia). Following the results of the conference, the ASEAN Centre is planning to publish conference proceedings.

ASEAN Centre