Today in Sydney I met with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Sergey Lavrov, who is inAustralia for a formal bilateral visit with the Foreign Minister as a guest of the Australian Government.
Australia and Russia enjoy friendly Defence relations. Our official dialogue, the biennial Australia-Russia Political and Military Strategic Dialogue will be held in Australia this year. Minister Lavrov and I discussed enhancing our Defence to Defence discussions and the potential to make Defence discussions annual.
Australia welcomed the entry of Russia, along with the United States, into the expanded East Asia Summit (EAS) last year. Russia and the United States joined with ASEAN countries plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.
"Presidents and Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers from all key countries in our region now all meet in the expanded EAS format to discuss the full range of issues, from the economy and trade and investment through to peace and security and defence," Mr Smith said.
"The EAS format for Defence Ministers, the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), creates an institution in which EAS Defence Ministers can have a conversation about the full range of peace and security matters. Australia and Russia are committed to working cooperatively in this forum. Minister Lavrov and I discussed the potential to enhance our Defence contact in this important piece of regional architecture."
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Department of Defence: (02) 6127 1999