16 November / 2009

RUSSIAN-SINGAPORE JOINT STATEMENT ON THE STATE VISIT OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY A. MEDVEDEV TO THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE, 15-16 NOVEMBER 2009

1 At the invitation of President S R Nathan, the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry A. Medvedev made a State Visit to the Republic of Singapore on 15-16 November 2009. This is the first State Visit to Singapore by a Russian Head of State in the history of bilateral relations. President D.A.Medvedev called on President S R Nathan and also had good discussions with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. The meetings and discussions took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
2 The Singapore leaders and President D.A.Medvedev expressed satisfaction with the state of Russian-Singapore relations. They noted that developments in the bilateral relationship testified to the growing interest of both countries in developing mutually beneficial relations, and attested to the potential for further expansion of bilateral ties.

3 Both sides emphasised the importance of maintaining high-level dialogue between their political leaders to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to facilitate business and investment. To this end, they agreed to establish a high-level Inter-Governmental Commission to explore and promote broad-based cooperation in a variety of fields that would include economics, science and technology, as well as political, cultural, education and other areas.
4 Both sides welcomed the potential for more economic cooperation and more extensive business relations. They noted the positive growth in bilateral trade, in particular the coming into force of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the Russian Federation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income which shall apply to income derived on or after 1 January 2010. They also noted that negotiations on bilateral Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments had just been successfully concluded by negotiators on both sides. They further agreed to expedite the completion of their necessary internal procedures for the approval and signing of the Agreement. Both sides noted the positive effects of such bilateral agreements and expressed confidence that the agreements would catalyse greater bilateral investment flows.

5 The Russian and Singapore leaders acknowledged the strong cooperation within the framework of the Joint Steering Committee and Joint Working Group, under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the Russian Federation on Economic Cooperation in Special Economic Zones. Both sides agreed that the Joint Steering Committee and Joint Working Group have been useful in developing bilateral economic cooperation and the sharing of experience. Singapore will continue to play an advisory role in Russia's Special Economic Zones. Both sides were pleased to note the growing interest among businessmen in the annual Russia-Singapore Business Forum. Despite the economic crisis, the 4th RSBF held in September 2009 drew a record number of 600 participants, with close to 200 participants fr om Russia.

6 The two sides noted that there was potential for enhancing defence exchanges and security cooperation between Russia and Singapore. The Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Singapore on the Exchange of Military Delegations signed in 2008 will lead to more contacts between the defence establishments of the two countries.

7 The two sides expressed confidence that the expansion of exchanges in the fields of culture, education, healthcare, information and mass communications, sports and tourism will enrich bilateral relations and deepen mutual understanding between the two nations.

8 The leaders of Russia and Singapore agreed that it was necessary for the international community to work together in dealing with the global financial and economic crisis so as to bring about sustainable and balanced economic growth. Both parties expressed support for the efforts of the international community through the G20 process. They also agreed that creeping protectionism, particularly during the current financial and economic crisis, could not be tolerated.

9 Both sides underscored the importance of reforming international financial institutions, in particular the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in order to reflect more adequately the structural changes in the world economy and to take into account the growing role of dynamic emerging economies and developing countries.

10 Both sides also expressed support for taking additional steps so as to bring the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations to a successful conclusion. They agreed that the conclusion of the Doha Round by 2010 will be one of the most important factors to help lift the global economy out of the global crisis. The Doha Round should aim not only to liberalise world trade but also remove distortions, so that there is an ambitious but balanced outcome that would satisfy all members of the World Trade Organization.

11 The two sides noted that the role of the Asia-Pacific region in global political and economic affairs continues to grow steadily. They reaffirmed their readiness for close operation in the interest of strengthening peace and security, assisting sustainable development in the region, and deepening mutual understanding and trust among the regional nations.

12 The two sides underscored the important role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the regional efforts to liberalise and facilitate trade and investment, foster regional economic integration, strengthen the fight against international terrorism, ensure transport and energy security, and mount effective responses to natural disasters. The Russian side highly evaluated the level of preparations for the APEC Leaders Summit as well as all the activities during Singapore's Chairmanship of APEC in 2009. The Russian side expressed special interest in the preparation for and conduct of this event in the context of the upcoming Russian Chairmanship in 2012.

13 The two sides reaffirmed their readiness for close interaction within the dialogue partnership of the Russian Federation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that is playing the leading role in the process of regional integration in Asia, as well as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on security, the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and other multilateral forums. Both sides also welcomed the strengthening of cooperation between ASEAN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which would contribute to the security and development of the Asia-Pacific region. They also noted the possibility of further interactions between ASEAN and the SCO on the basis of the Jakarta 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariats of the two Organizations.

14 Both sides acknowledged the growing influence and authority of the East Asia Summit and the Asia-Europe Meeting wh ere Singapore is playing an important role. The Singapore side welcomed Russia's participation in the Asia-Europe Meeting. On the East Asia Summit, the leaders agreed that Russia's future participation in the EAS should continue to be considered subject to the consolidation of the EAS process.

15 Both sides highlighted the importance of expanding interactions on issues of ensuring comprehensive security, primarily in respect of energy, food, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy.

16 The two sides stated that Russia and Singapore resolutely denounced terrorism in all its manifestations, and reaffirmed the inadmissibility of identification of terrorism with any nation, culture or religion. They were in favour of strengthening the role of the United Nations in international responses to terrorism.

17 While underscoring the priority of ensuring environmental security, both sides noted the need for collective efforts to counter global climate change and stated their support for a successful outcome at the 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and at the 5th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol respectively, in Copenhagen in December this year.

18 The two sides called for the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In this connection they hoped to see a successful outcome to the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

19 The two sides discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula. They called on all states to fulfill Resolution 1874 of the UN Security Council, and were in favour of resuming the Six-Party negotiation process to resolve the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula.

20 The two sides called for the early diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear programme issue and called on Iran to take all necessary steps to restore the confidence of the international community that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful in nature. The two sides considered that Iran, like any other Member State of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in accordance with Article IV of the NPT, had the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes while fulfilling its NPT obligations.

21 The two sides discussed the highly complex situation in Afghanistan and noted the ongoing efforts of the international community to help bring peace and development to that country.

22 Russia and Singapore reaffirmed their commitment to a comprehensive, lasting and just settlement of the Middle East conflict towards the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

23 The two sides supported the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, the right of the Iraqi people to independently decide their state order as well as freely dispose of their natural and financial resources. The two sides resolutely denounced acts of terrorism in Iraq, and underscored the need for national reconciliation and accord in that country as soon as possible on the basis of broad political dialogue.

24 The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the various bilateral meetings and discussions that took place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust.

25 President Dmitry A. Medvedev invited President S R Nathan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to visit the Russian Federation. The invitations were accepted with gratitude.

Singapore, 16 November 2009