Unleash the potential of Russia-Malaysia relations in post-pandemic era
09 Jul 2021
As a country with a huge Muslim population and as a responsible member of international community, Russia pays great attention to the global Islamic agenda.
It actively participates in many related international fora and events, supports dialogue of civilisations and religions as a best way to peaceful coexistence of all nations, is deeply involved in the multilateral activities, including Middle East Quartet, to promote peace, security and stability in the Muslim regions that remain plagued by disputes and conflicts or suffer from terrorism and extremism.
The strong impetus to closer rapprochement between Russia and the Muslim world was given in 2003 during the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Putrajaya, when the conference “welcomed the desire of the Russian Federation to establish strong relations with the OIC”.
As a result, Russia has joined the OIC as an observer in 2005 and has established the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia-Islamic world”, consisting of 33 famous statesmen and public figures from 27 Muslim states, including Malaysia, to promote the partnership and to discuss crucial international issues.
Strengthening friendly and mutually beneficial relations with Islamic countries is at the core of the Russian foreign policy. Last December, President of Russia, Vladimir Putin said: “Now we have greatly expanded the geography of our cooperation with the Islamic world… We attach great importance to this and will keep moving in this direction and further develop these relations.”
Starting from 2009, “Russia-Islamic world: Kazan Summit” is held annually in Kazan city, the capital the Republic of Tatarstan, one of the Muslim-majority entity of the Russian Federation. This is an international economic event aimed to bolster trade, economic, scientific, technical, social and cultural ties between Russia and OIC member states.
High-ranking representatives of Malaysia consistently participate in the forum. The 12th meeting is scheduled from July 28 to 30 this year. On the same dates, the annual international exhibition of the Halal industry “Russia Halal Expo” shall start on the sidelines of the summit.
It focuses on presenting the potential of the Halal economic segment and promotion of Halal products and services of Russian and foreign suppliers.
Russia treats Malaysia as a prominent member of Muslim world and the OIC in particular, who is deeply involved in shaping of global Islamic agenda, as well as one of regional leaders and main contributors to prosperity and peace in Southeast Asia, and as a reliable partner with promising high-tech and agricultural markets.
We intend to seek ways to dramatically increase cooperation with Malaysia on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues, including Muslim-related ones.
I invite Malaysian politicians, religious and secular scholars, society, business and media to share views on how our countries can unleash the potential of Russia-Malaysia relations and how to further promote them in the post-pandemic era.
The writer is Ambassador of Russia to Malaysia