Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
June 29, 2014
MOSCOW- Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with his Russian counterpart Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Friday and the two ministers discussed on ways they would help each other out bilaterally.They discussed important issues that ranged from bilateral and trade, humanitarian aid and election preparation.The meeting was a success since the two countries were committed to deepen their diplomatic relation.
Fiji and Russia has vowed to strengthen their relation and raise it to greater heights after realizing that there's still other areas they could explore and expand on.The relationship between the two countries dated back to the 19th century when two Russian seafarers Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen visited the Ono in the Lau Group.Minister Lavrov said that warm and friendly ties between their people had been established based on their diaries.
The two ministers revised the course of the agreements, which were reached during the official visit of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to Russia in June last year. Minister Lavrov said specific projects were planned and were being implemented in the area of education, staff preparation, sports, tourism and cultural exchanges.The two Ministers also discussed topical international issues.
They underlined the commitment to further cooperation in the UN, including on peacekeeping issues. Minister Lavrov spoke highly of Fiji's contribution to peacekeeping around the globe where Fiji has accumulated rich experience in this area. He commended the Fiji forces, the largest force in the UN operation on the Golan Heights, in which Russia is trying to equip it with light weapons and necessary equipment.
The two countries are working to provide a coordinated approach when preparing resolutions of the UN General Assembly. Minister Lavrov said they were grateful to Fiji for the support of Russian initiatives related to the reinforcement of trust in outer space and international information security. He highlighted the traditional support to the resolutions, which the UNGA adopted on the issues of inadmissibility of glorification of Nazism by Fiji.
Minister Ratu Inoke thanked the Russians for their support towards Fiji when all else abandoned them.He said the Russian Government and her people have been a true friend to Fiji.He said that given the close friendship the two countries enjoyed, there was a need to establish a resident mission in Suva which would deepen and consolidate their bilateral relation and also provide Russia with closer contact point with all Pacific Island countries.Ratu Inoke updated Minister Lavrov of Fiji's preparation for the general election.He thanked the Russian Government for agreeing to send an Observer Mission during the election on September 17.
In relation to bilateral projects agreed upon by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retd) Voreqe Bainimarama and Prime Minister Medvedev during his visit last year, Ratu Inoke explained the progress of those projects.Ratu Inoke also updated Minister Lavrov of all those projects including the cooperation in public health, military assistance to Fijian UN peacekeepers and the engagement of Russian language teachers.He explained to his Russian counterpart of Fiji's request for new bilateral issues for consideration which included double taxation agreement, air service agreement and cooperation in sports and sports science.Ratu Inoke suggested that there should be senior officials meeting of the two Ministry of Foreign Affairs every 12 to 18 months to review progress of bilateral projects and develop new projects for Ministerial consideration.He said Fiji believe that was essential given the deepening of their bilateral relations and increasing cooperation in the UN and multilaterally.
The two ministers agreed to cooperate within the framework of the UN to prepare the events devoted to the 70th anniversary since the end of the Second World War.The two minister's examined the issue of Russia’s cooperation with island states in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.
It has become a tradition to hold such meetings on the side-lines of the UNGA session in New York, the fifth meeting will be held in 2014. Russia highly appreciated that the Fiji partners were traditional coordinators of that function.Minister Kubuabola and Minister Lavrov are satisfied with the results of their negotiations, which confirmed their mutual interest in the reinforcement of mutually beneficial ties. And they agreed that the bilateral cooperation did not correspond only to the interests of Russia and Fiji, but extended to the Pacific region and contributed to stability, security and development in the southern part of that region.
Mereseini MarauMedia Officer, MFAIC
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji