Andrey Yatskin: Russian proposals underpin newly adopted resolutions on the development of the digital economy, culture and tourism in the Asia-Pacific region

The First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council reviewed the participation of the Federal Assembly delegation in the 30th session of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

During the 30th session of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, Russian parliamentarians had a number of meetings with representatives of other countries, First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Andrey Yatskin said. He led the delegation of the Russian Federal Assembly at the event held in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok.

The delegation included First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Andrey Denisov, members of the Federation Council Committee on the Budget and Financial Markets Vadim Dengin and Dina Oyun, member of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Lyudmila Skakovskaya, and State Duma deputies.

“Along with being a multilateral format, the APPF provides good opportunities to strengthen interparliamentary dialogue with our partners from the Asia-Pacific region. The delegation members had numerous meetings with parliamentarians from all participating countries during the three days of the conference,” Andrey Yatskin said.

According to the Senator, in-depth bilateral discussions took place not only with the host country, Thailand, but also with President of the Parliament of Laos Saysomphone Phomvihane and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ulugbek Inoyatov.

The Russian legislators met with the leaders of both houses of the Parliament of Thailand – President of the National Assembly of Thailand Chuan Leekpai, who chaired the 30th session of the APPF, and President of the Senate of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai. During the conversation with Chuan Leekpai, the Russian visitors conveyed to him a message on behalf of the Federation Council Speaker.

“Thailand is Russia's oldest partner in Southeast Asia. This year, we mark the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries,” Andrey Yatskin said, adding that during the meetings with their Thai colleagues, the parties praised the trusting and friendly bilateral cooperation and reaffirmed mutual interest in its comprehensive expansion in a pragmatic and mutually beneficial way.

“A number of new projects and initiatives have been outlined, including in the interparliamentary sphere. The legislators reaffirmed their mutual readiness to further deepen and expand the full scope of Russian-Thai relations,” the First Deputy Speaker emphasised.

During bilateral meetings, Russian parliamentarians informed the other party about the 10th Nevsky International Environmental Congress in St Petersburg in May 2023.

Andrey Yatskin reviewed the Russian parliamentary delegation’s activity at the 30th session of the APPF, noting that the goals of the forum were to expand cooperation between the participating countries in the interests of ensuring peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, promote trade and investment, cooperate in environmental protection, combat transnational crime and terrorism, and hold exchanges in culture and education.

The Senator said that the Russian delegation proposed five draft resolutions concerning security and counterterrorism, cooperation in the field of culture, tourism and the digital economy, and women’s empowerment.

At the end of the forum, the Final Communiqué was signed, Andrey Yatskin said. Based on the Russian proposals, three resolutions were adopted on developing the digital economy in the Asia-Pacific region, promoting tourism and supporting cultural diversity, as well as on empowering women.

“Unfortunately, the delegations from the collective West countries repeatedly tried to question the consensus-based decision-making at the APPF and establish full control of the organisation. Due to the unconstructive position of the delegations from a number of countries, joint resolutions on political and security issues were not adopted. Our drafts on promoting parliamentary diplomacy in the interests of national security and countering terrorism were rejected because of the destructive position of our opponents,” the First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council said.

He stressed that the Russian delegation prevented the adoption of resolutions containing anti-Russia statements. “Our so-called partners tried to use mala fide methods to include anti-Russia statements into draft resolutions concerning current cooperation in culture, tourism, healthcare and humanitarian ties.”

Andrey Yatskin noted that the actions of the Western countries’ parliamentary delegations that they had previously agreed were not supported by the majority of the forum participants, who tried to underscore their neutrality. “This was also the stance taken by the hosts of the forum, Thai parliamentarians.”

The Senator said that members of the Russian delegation shared their approach to all topics on the agenda while speaking at the plenary sessions, the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific Region and the roundtable with young parliamentarians from the region. “We were active in the meetings of each of the four working groups and the drafting committee.” Senator Andrey Denisov participated in the work of the Drafting Committee on coordinating the package of final documents.

On the final day of the forum, Senators Dina Oyun and Lyudmila Skakovskaya spoke at the third plenary session. They discussed improving health services, ensuring equal access to primary healthcare, and promoting the development of regional tourism and an understanding of cultural diversity.

It was decided that the 31st session of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum would be held in the Republic of the Philippines.