ASEAN won’t exclude Russia from peace-focused talks
Despite the fact that Russia has been directly involved in the conflict that has been raging in Ukraine for over five months now, the foreign ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are scheduled to meet with their counterparts from a number of other countries in the coming week. These countries will likely include Russia.
During the 55th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, which will take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on August 4th, there will be post-ministerial conferences held with the foreign ministers of China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, the European Union, the United States, and Russia. These conferences are scheduled to take place on the same day.
When asked whether there were moves to exclude Russia from meetings with the regional bloc, Philippine Assistant Foreign Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Daniel Espiritu said that such efforts were taken by partners outside of ASEAN “from the very start,” but that the regional bloc decided against this, choosing instead to serve as a venue for dialogue. When asked whether there were moves to exclude Russia from meetings with the regional bloc, Daniel Espiritu said that such efforts were taken by partners outside of ASEAN “from the very start.”
He stated that “ASEAN is unique and distinct in the sense that it provides a forum for preventive diplomacy, for peaceful management of disputes and tensions even among conflicting parties, even among warring parties. ASEAN is unique and distinct in that it provides a forum for preventive diplomacy,” he said. Espiritu made explicit reference to the ASEAN treaty of amity and collaboration, which is a legally binding convention that promoted “peaceful cohabitation and cordial cooperation” among the states of Southeast Asia.”
“We would like for this distinction to be appreciated, as well as the centrality of ASEAN. We promised that nobody would be left out, and there wouldn’t be any disruptions to the process.” According to Espiritu, attendance at ASEAN meetings is open to anyone and everyone.
Since the end of February, heavy fighting in Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of dozens of soldiers as well as civilians. Additionally, Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine has led to an increase in the cost of energy and a global shortage of wheat, both of which are putting millions of people in less developed countries at risk of starvation.
Espiritu stated that the Philippines and ASEAN did not condone Russia’s activities in Ukraine despite the fact that Russia was invited to the meeting. This statement was made on behalf of both the Philippines and ASEAN. The Philippines, in addition to demanding an end to the violence in Ukraine, have voiced their grave concern over the increasing number of civilian casualties and the targeting of civilian infrastructure. They have also demanded an investigation into allegations of war atrocities, as well as the safe and efficient distribution of aid.
The underlying principle hasn’t changed at all. Our stance has not changed, and it has been made very clear…. In relation to Russia, this is the stance taken by both the Philippines and ASEAN towards the situation in Ukraine. “And Russia knows this, and we have intimated this to them again and again in the various meetings that we have had with Russia ever since the military action that they had in Ukraine,” Espiritu said. “And Russia knows this, and we have intimated this to them again and again in the various meetings that we have had with Russia.”
In addition to this, he stated, “In ASEAN, we don’t want to increase tensions. We want to find a solution to reduce the level of friction or tension that exists not just between nations in ASEAN but also between ASEAN and external partners. We are all committed to making this area a more peaceful place.”