Russia offers to build ASEAN infrastructure

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev making a pitch to ASEAN businessmen at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 in Manila on Monday. (DM Facebook page)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday made a pitch to build infrastructure that will fasttrack the integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries into a single community and economy.

“We are ready to provide infrastructure capability to all ASEAN countries not only airports but also sea terminals, and railroads, highways, power lines, and what is very important now, high speed communication channels,” said Medvedev during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 at the Solaire Hotel.

He said Moscow is developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and is building cross-border oil and gas pipelines to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe.

This, to create a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region, he said.

Apart from infrastructure capability, Russia is spearheading the Eurasian Economic Union, a new trade community aiming to contribute to Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure.

Medvedev also said that Russia desires to deepen ties with the regional bloc as it sees the ASEAN business community’s interest to cooperate on energy, transport, agriculture, satellite navigation, high technology, financial services, and other areas.

He added that Russia wants to engage with its neighbors to recover from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West.

“Russia belongs to the Asia-PAcific Region in terms of its geopolitics, history and economy. Promoting cooperation with all countries within the region and contributing proactively to resolving regional issues is a strategic priority for us,” Medvedev said. PNA/rw: wjg