PM Lee & Putin reaffirm “long-standing friendship” between S’pore & Russia

S'pore & Russia signed a number of new agreements too.

Kayla Wong | November 15, 2018 @ 11:56 am

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the “broad-based and long-standing friendship” between the two countries on Wednesday (Nov. 14).

Singapore & Russia

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), both leaders noted the progress made in bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and investment.

Other than further cooperation in innovation and urban transport management, they also welcomed greater exchanges in education and culture.

On Tuesday (Nov. 13), President Halimah Yacob and Putin broke ground for a new Russian Cultural Centre and orthodox church.

President Halimah & Putin break ground for new Russian Cultural Centre & Orthodox church

Both leaders also discussed regional and international developments.

In addition, PM Lee and Putin witnessed the exchange of a number of agreements:

  • a Joint Statement on the Russia-Singapore Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment;
  • a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) in the field of Higher Education;
  • an agreement between Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and the regional Government of St Petersburg to cooperate on the potential development of an urban transport management system.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov exchanging the MOU in the field of higher education between Singapore’s Ministry of Education and Russia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (Source: MCI)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Asean & Russia

At the third Asean-Russia Summit on Nov. 14, a MOU was signed between Asean and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

The new agreement is expected to boost trade and investment between Southeast Asian countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In addition, PM Lee said Singapore supports the elevating of the relationship between Asean and Russia to a “strategic partnership”.

He said:

“Singapore will continue working with Russia and Asean to identify new and innovative ways to deepen and broaden our engagement.”

As for Putin, he said that Russia places importance on its relations with Asean.

He said that Asean and Russia have “accomplished a lot together” since both sides last met in Sochi in 2016.

He also said political dialogue between Russia and Asean has “intensified”, saying that both have coordinated their approaches to “key issues in the Asia-Pacific”.

Adding that trade between Russia and Asean has grown by 35 per cent in the past year, he said:

“We believe it is important to foster a regular dialogue between Asean and the Eurasian Economic Union.”

He also invited representatives from Asean to attend the St Petersburg International economic Forum as well as the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia in 2019.

After the session, both Asean and Russia adopted the Joint Statement of the 3rd Asean-Russian Federation Summit on Strategic Partnership and statement of Asean and Russian cooperation in ensuring the security of information and communication technologies and their safe use.

You can read the full speeches given by both PM Lee and Putin here.

Top image via Ministry of Communication and Information

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