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First ever ASEAN-Russia Naval Exercise (ARNEX) will be held in Indonesian territorial water

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The location is in Sumatra island water, North Sumatra precisely

North Sumatra (Red color)

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About one month ago Indonesian Navy conducted Naval Exercise in Riau islands province, near Singapore, which was also conducting amphibious landing

 

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Vietnamese warship participates in ASEAN - Russia naval drills
By Vu Anh November 24, 2021 | 03:51 pm GMT+7


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The frigate HQ-012 Ly Thai To has arrived in Indonesia to participate in the ARNEX joint exercise between ASEAN and Russia.

The ship left Cam Ranh military port in the central Khanh Hoa Province on Tuesday afternoon for Indonesia to participate in the ASEAN – Russia Naval Exercise (ARNEX), the first of its kind held to ensure the safety of maritime economic activity and civil navigation.

The Vietnamese crew will participate in practical activities like communications, formation, search and rescue, and greeting each other at sea during the event in Indonesia’s waters, according to Vietnam People’s Navy newspaper.

The drill aims to implement agreements from the 14th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting which Vietnam chaired, and at the same time, shows Vietnam's support in promoting the ASEAN - Russia relationship.

Russian Ambassador to ASEAN Alexander Ivanov told Russian news agency Sputnik the drill will take place in North Sumatra on Dec. 1-3.

The exercise aims to develop cooperation between the Russian Navy and those of ASEAN member countries to provide security for maritime commercial activities and traffic, and will be divided into two phases -- virtual and maritime. Defense Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Prabowo Subianto plans to launch the drill on board anti-submarine vessel Admiral Panteleev, he added.

The Gepard-class frigate HQ-012 Ly Thai To was built by Russia with advanced military equipment.
In May 2006, Vietnam and Russia signed a $350 million contract for two Gepard-class frigates. The ships were delivered to the Vietnamese Navy in March 2011 and named after Vietnamese kings Dinh Tien Hoang and Ly Thai To.

The HQ-012 Ly Thai To is designed to perform searches, track and destroy floating target ships and patrol territorial waters as well as special economic areas. The ship is equipped with stealth technology to minimize detection by enemy radar.


@Viet @Viva_Viet
 

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The comment from US government affiliated Media, BenarNews :

BenarNews is an online news service affiliated with Radio Free Asia that reports in five languages: Bengali, Thai, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and English. BenarNews reporters and stringers are dedicated to bringing the truth to their readers and are bound by a strict code of journalistic ethics. BenarNews is funded by an annual grant from the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent US agency.

https://www.benarnews.org/english/about

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Tria Dianti
Jakarta
2021-11-23

Russia and France Look to Boost Ties with Indonesia, ASEAN States


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Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev is docked at the port of Manila, Oct. 20, 2017.

Russia and France are courting Southeast Asian nations after both global powers were shut out of the AUKUS defense pact and the Quad strategic dialogue group – a pair of U.S.-led multilateral security arrangements in the heart of the Indo-Pacific.

On Tuesday, the Russian embassy and the Indonesian navy announced that Moscow and several members of the ASEAN bloc would hold their first-ever joint naval exercise in early December. The drills off Indonesia’s Sumatra Island will involve the Admiral Panteleyev (pictured), Russia’s large anti-submarine warfare ship, they said.

“All ASEAN member states have been invited to this exercise,” Natalia Naumova, spokeswoman for the Russian mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta, told BenarNews.

“Seven countries including Myanmar will send their warships.”

Three of the 10 ASEAN member-states will not send warships, but will take part in the online phase of the exercise and then observe the at-sea phase, Naumova said, declining to name the countries.

Laos and Cambodia are among the nations that will not deploy ships for the drills, an Indonesian Navy spokesman told BenarNews. The other members of the regional bloc are Indonesia, Brunei Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The exercise between ASEAN members and Russia, the world’s third largest naval power, is scheduled from Dec. 1 to 3. It will take place in Indonesian waters in the Indian Ocean off Aceh province, said First Adm. Julius Widjojono, the Indonesian navy spokesman.

The exercise is aimed at increasing operational cooperation between the navies of ASEAN member states and Russia “to ensure the safety of maritime economic activity and civil navigation,” the Russian embassy said in a statement.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will order the start of the exercise from the Admiral Panteleyev, a destroyer assigned to Russia’s Pacific Fleet, it said.

“We hope that the exercise will help strengthen relations between ASEAN and Russia and regional maritime security,” Adm. Julius told BenarNews.

Russia and ASEAN have been in dialogue since 1996, but Moscow’s increasing focus on Southeast Asia comes amid the two United States-led pacts – AUKUS, a defense alliance with the United Kingdom and Australia, and the Quad with Australia, India and Japan.

The increased Russian engagement in Southeast Asia also comes after Moscow suspended its mission to NATO, when the latter expelled eight Russian military officers from its headquarters in Brussels over espionage allegations.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Southeast Asian leaders during a Russia-ASEAN summit that enhancing ties with the bloc was “one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities.”

These include cooperation to strengthen stability and security, safeguard the post-pandemic economic recovery, boost trade and expand humanitarian ties, he said.

“Russia and ASEAN countries, in many ways, share similar positions on key global and regional issues. What is crucial is that we all support equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in the extensive Asia Pacific region,” Putin said during the summit, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Bilaterally, Russia has conducted naval exercises with several ASEAN countries, including Indonesia and Vietnam. In December 2020, three Indonesian Navy ships and three Russian vessels staged a joint exercise in the Java Sea.

ASEAN, too, benefits from cultivating Russia, noted the Observer Research Foundation in a paper last year.

Southeast Asian countries are “looking to build a policy that would let them avoid taking sides between China – with whom they were deeply connected economically – and the U.S. – who was their security guarantee against any adventures by the rising power,” according to the paper authored by scholar Nivedita Kapoor.

This first-ever Navy exercise between Russia and ASEAN, meanwhile, will also benefit Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, according to Arie Afriansyah, a lecturer in international security at the University of Indonesia.

“Indonesia has the biggest interest in this exercise as most of the largest part of the Strait of Malacca is in Indonesian territory,” he said.

Indonesia needs a secure Strait of Malacca because it is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, Arie added.

French foreign minister visits Indonesia

France, for its part, was extremely annoyed with the AUKUS pact, under which the United States and United Kingdom agreed to supply Australia technology for nuclear-powered submarines.

France lost a major contract to sell submarines to Australia, because of AUKUS, so Paris has been trying to court other Indo-Pacific powers, especially Indonesia, the most sprawling country in Southeast Asia, for “true” relationships.

Additionally, France is not part of the Quad – which is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific – despite having island territories in the region. So it is looking to Southeast Asia to forge relationships, and particularly to Indonesia, which Paris says is “at the heart of France’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was expected to arrive in Jakarta on Tuesday for a two-day visit which, Paris said, is intended to show its commitment to the Indo-Pacific.

Le Drian is to meet his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Wednesday, said Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah.

The French Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement that it emphasizes “commitment to contribute to regional security and the establishment of an international order in the Indo-Pacific, which is based on law and multilateralism.”

On Oct. 31, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Jokowi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Rome. After the meeting, Jokowi said he welcomed “progress” in defense cooperation between the two countries.

In July, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo said his ministry hoped to acquire advanced fighter-jets including U.S.-made F-15s, Rafales from France, and Sukhoi Su-35s and Su-57s from Russia.

“Indonesia will likely settle on those fighter jets least likely to incense either China or the U.S., giving France’s Rafale bid an advantage over the others, unless a new contender appears on the horizon,” said the article by Johannes Nugroho, an Indonesian political analyst.

Arie Firdaus in Jakarta contributed to this report.

 
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Indos

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The exercise look like is held in Malacca Straits, showing once again to general folks that the straits is under direct control of both Indonesian and Malaysia, it is not an international water.

By the way Indonesia operates both US and Russia defense equipments

 

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Russian point of view


Oct 3, 2021


Russia: AUKUS, QUAD alliances erode cooperation in ASEAN format - Lavrov


The Indo-Pacific concept is aimed at breaking up the ASEAN system and containing China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said while addressing the 29th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDP), on Saturday.

The diplomat said the US establishment of the QUAD quartet and the AUKUS bloc were aimed at "eroding the universal formats in the Asia-Pacific region" that exist under the auspices of ASEAN. These formats, according to Lavrov "were based on the principle of consensus and involved all the key countries of the region, including China, India, Japan and Russia, on terms of equal rights and mutual consideration of interests."

Lavrov also touched upon cybersecurity saying that a resolution had been agreed earlier this year approving a five-year schedule for the working group's negotiating format for all UN members. "We will discuss problems that are acute in the sphere of cyber security, cyberspace security. This trend, unfortunately, has been gaining momentum for a long time and now it has reached its climax," the minister said. Additionally, in his speech, the diplomat responded to accusations that Russia "lacks ideology in foreign policy".

He called the ideologisation of foreign policy a losing path, as this is proven by "not only Soviet but also worldwide experience." SOT, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Russian): "One of the current trends is the Indo-Pacific strategies invented by the US, embodied by the QUAD quartet - the US, Japan, India, Australia - and the recent establishment of the AUKUS bloc.

All this goes in line with the erosion of the universal formats in the Asia-Pacific region that have existed under ASEAN auspices and were ASEAN centric for the past decades: the EAC, the ASEAN Security Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers and Partners Meetings (ASEAN Plus) and a variety of other formats. They were based on the principle of consensus and involved all the key countries of the region, including China, India, Japan and Russia on an equal footing and mutual consideration of interests.

The Indo-Pacific concept seeks to dismantle this system based on the need to respect the indivisibility of security, and has openly proclaimed its goal to contain China. These rules are manifesting themselves here as well. Now on the agenda is the 'Summit for Democracy' being convened by the US in December this year. It is clear who will be selecting the candidates for it. It is an American initiative, they will decide who will be called a democracy in their eyes. It will be interesting even "from a sporting point of view" to see who will be invited there.

I have already heard it argued that a whole range of key allies of the United States, especially in the Middle Eastern region, cannot be called democracies, and not to invite them. We shall see. This will require some diplomatic ingenuity, but a happy beginning. A recent example: yesterday or the day before yesterday it was announced that US President Joe Biden was convening a summit on cybersecurity this month. It is said that about 30 states are invited, although cyber security issues have been discussed within the UN at the initiative of Russia and many other countries for decades, almost 20 years to be exact. Earlier this year, a resolution was agreed upon that approved a five-year timetable for the negotiation format of the open-ended working group, i.e. open for all UN members.

We will discuss problems that are acute in the field of cyber security, cyberspace security. This trend, unfortunately, has been gaining momentum for a long time and has now reached its apogee. We see in this situation that international relations are becoming more and more complex, multi-layered, non-linear, and there is a need for high-quality expert analysis." SOT, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Russian): "We are sometimes blamed for the fact that unlike the West, which imposes its attitudes everywhere, including through the concept of a 'rule-based world order', we lack ideology in foreign policy. With all due respect to people who sometimes say so, I have my own opinion and believe that not only Soviet but also global experience shows that ideologisation of foreign policy is a losing path." #Russia #ASEAN #Lavrov
 

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ASEAN brings in Russia during the period of US and European Union defense embargo to Indonesia. This is something that many analyst missing.


May 20, 2016

Looking back on 20 years of ASEAN-Russia Dialogue


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U.S. arms restrictions were first levied on Jakarta in 1991 when Indonesian soldiers opened fire on a pro-independence demonstration, leaving more than 270 East Timorese dead. Indonesia later staged a military intervention in 1999 to prevent East Timor’s secession, killing more than 1,500 civilians and razing 70 percent of its infrastructure. In response, the United States and the European Union both imposed arms embargoes. The European Union chose not to renew its ban in 2000. (See ACT, January/February 2000.)

 
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Stranagor

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ASEAN's diversification of defence cooperation is a smart strategic move. This way it won't be arrested by any one particular interest and maintain impartiality.
 

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As I predicted, one Indonesian member in other forum (DT) who feels so cozy hanging out with Australian, New Zealand, and Singaporean members doesnt want to post this news on that forum :D
 
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It's in America's interest to court ASEAN

Washington overlooked the alliance early on, but it appears to have set a new diplomatic course

Leaders pose for a family photo at the ASEAN-China Summit in Bangkok in November 2019.  | REUTERSLeaders pose for a family photo at the ASEAN-China Summit in Bangkok in November 2019. | REUTERS


WASHINGTON – Restoring relationships with friends and allies damaged by Donald Trump has been a foreign policy priority for U.S. President Joe Biden. He has been largely successful in doing so through the “Quad” and the Group of Seven frameworks aimed at meeting the challenges posed by China.

However there was one important group of countries that the White House seemed to overlook in the early months of his presidency — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In the first six months of his administration, Biden spoke with over 40 leaders of the world by phone, but he had not done so with a single ASEAN leader.

Fortunately, things have changed for the better recently, with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visiting Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand in June, followed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s travels to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines last month. Vice President Kamala Harris also traveled to Vietnam and Singapore for talks in August.

Finally, it seems, Washington is paying due attention to ASEAN, which was largely ignored by the Trump administration. In doing so, it would be wise to spend much more political capital on the region together with Japan, the largest investor in ASEAN countries.

There are several reasons why.

First, ASEAN is of tremendous strategic importance to the U.S. and Japan because of its geographical and economic characteristics. Geographically, the ASEAN countries are literally situated at the center of the Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, comprising Australia, India, Japan and the U.S., the four pillars of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision. Moreover, several key ASEAN states share borders with China both on land and at sea.

Economically, while the group’s 10 member countries are mostly small, ASEAN collectively has the fourth largest economy in the world, behind the U.S., China and Japan. Furthermore, economically, it has been growing faster than any other region except for the nation of China. The collective ASEAN economy is expected to continue to grow, reaching in the not-too-distant future a population of 700 million people who are eager to work and consume.

Second, ASEAN geographically sits in the main theater of competition with China. Neglecting Southeast Asia’s geographic importance would compromise Washington and Tokyo’s ability to deal with the China challenge. Geographically, China is hemmed in to its east by Japan and South Korea, to its southeast by Taiwan, to its west by India and to its north by Mongolia and Russia. ASEAN, which is much less hostile, provides China a vital opening to its south.

Continental ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar potentially provide critical access to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Meanwhile, maritime ASEAN countries, particularly, the Philippines, hold the key to China’s control of the South China Sea, which Beijing defines as a “core interest.”

Economically, ASEAN provides China both manufacturing bases with less expensive labor costs and consumer markets that are expected to continue growing. Additionally, ASEAN presents China with economic pathways for the importation of natural resources and raw materials as well as the exporting of finished goods. Furthermore, ASEAN willingly gives China opportunities for its massive infrastructure projects under its Belt and Road Initiative.

Third, the U.S. is lagging behind China in terms of power and influence in the region. It is ASEAN’s biggest trading partner and second largest investor. China also builds many infrastructure projects in ASEAN countries that are closely connected with its own strategic interests. As China’s economic relationship with ASEAN countries deepens, Chinese workers pour into those nations.

As a result, ASEAN nations accept China’s presence and influence within their borders as a reality that they have to live with. A case in point is Cambodia. China’s influence over Cambodia’s leaders is so strong that it is deemed essentially a client state.

Still, despite the fact that China has a huge presence within ASEAN member countries, the U.S. and Japan still have an opportunity to achieve a strategic balance in the region because, generally speaking, those nations are wary of becoming totally dependent on Beijing.

In addition, ASEAN has not totally tilted toward China. The group is wary of the Asian giant’s heavy-handedness, bellicosity, hegemonic ambitions, human rights violations, corruption and environmental indifference.

While it is true that there is still a window of opportunity for the U.S., Washington must be nuanced in approaching ASEAN to prevent the group from slipping into Beijing’s orbit.

That’s because the world views of ASEAN member states are pragmatic and less ideological. In the end, like it or not, they recognize that China is too close and too powerful to openly turn against. Furthermore, they know that China is too prosperous to be left unengaged.

As a matter of fact, Southeast Asian countries have managed their complex relations with China for centuries with those realities in mind. There has been no clear battle line with China in the region. ASEAN has no intention to change that reality anytime soon. It is safe to say the group prefers even flawed stability with a heavy Chinese presence over a devastating conflict.

Moreover, from this viewpoint, even if ASEAN welcomes an American presence as a counterweight against China, it is important to understand the U.S.-Japan security alliance, which has adopted an increasingly anti-China tone, makes the association uncomfortable and even concerned.

If the U.S.-Japan alliance essentially becomes an “anti-China alliance,” ASEAN will view it as an unwelcome destabilizing force in the region. After all, the ASEAN states still remember the terrible consequences of the great power rivalry in Indo-China at the height of the Cold War.

Biden must tread carefully in this respect. Trump was regarded as having an anti-China stance. But his hard-line policies related to China were mainly focused on trade. His approach to China was undisciplined and unsystematic, while Biden is seen to be a more conventional leader in general. The new U.S. president’s stance against China is more fundamental and crystallized than Trump’s.

Because Biden defines competition with China as a binary choice of “our model of democracy versus their model of autocracy,” it poses a danger from the viewpoint of the ASEAN countries as it will force them to do what they prefer not to do — to be forced into choosing between the U.S. and China.
Considering such circumstances, Japan should take a leadership role in the U.S.-Japan alliance to engage ASEAN.

Japan has more leverage than the U.S. in the ASEAN region. Economically, Japan is ASEAN’s largest business partner. It has invested in business activities and human resources in the region in a much less pushy way than China. Diplomatically, Tokyo has been amenable to the “ASEAN way,” which sees cooperation being based on nonintervention and that a unanimous consensus is needed in making decisions. While the ASEAN way may often be indecisive and ineffective, it is the wisdom used to keep the extremely diverse group of Southeast Asian nations together.

Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, who have been making recommendations to the U.S.-Japan alliance, declared in December 2020: “Japan has become not just an essential and more equal ally but also an idea innovator.”

One concrete example in which Japan played such a role was the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Following the U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral negotiations on the earlier Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Tokyo demonstrated its leadership by leading the negotiations to make the strategic CPTPP trade agreement a reality.

Japan can engage ASEAN in the framework of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision without pushing the idea of “free and open” too hard to the member states. The U.S.-Japan alliance will win more friends in ASEAN if it does not pose a threat to stability in the region and the fragile unity of the group itself. The U.S. must be patient because achieving and maintaining strategic balance in the region is a continuous process of effectively engaging ASEAN rather than winning it over outright by trying to prove the idea that “our model is better than theirs.”

Satohiro Akimoto is chairman and president of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.

 

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LANTAMAL I Welcomes ASEAN PARTICIPANT VIETNAM warships - RUSSIA NAVAL EXERCISE 2021
Posted By : Admin, 28/11/2021 12:47 WIB, : 27
Deputy Commander of the Main Naval Base (Wadan Lantamal) I Belawan Marine Colonel Amir Kasman who represented Danlantamal I accompanied by Main Officials and Kasatker Lantamal I welcomed the arrival of the Vietnam Navy warship Ly Thai To 012, at Pier 104 Belawan International Container Terminal (BICT) , Belawan, North Sumatra, Sunday (28/11).

The arrival of the Vietnam Navy warship Ly Thai To with hull number 012 to Belawan is to support the Asean - Russia Naval Exercise which will take place from December 1 to December 3, 2021.

In this activity, the Ly Thai To 012 ship will join the Navy warship KRI RE.Martadinata-331 as well as 6 warships from other Asean countries including the Russian warship RFS Admiral Penteleyev to conduct joint exercises in the waters of Belawan to Sabang waters.

The ARNEX exercise will be attended by 10 Asean Countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) plus Russia, which is planned to involve warships and aircraft such as Indonesia and KRI RE. Martadinata-331, 1 CN-235 aircraft and 1 Panther helicopter, Russia with RFS Admiral Penteleyev Destroyer type and 1 KAMOV helicopter, Singapore with RSS Vigour, Malaysia with KD Lekiu and 1 Superking Helicopter, Thailand with HTMS Kraburi Frigate type, Myanmar with UMS Kyan Sit That frigate type, Vietnam with LY Thai To and Brunei with KDB Daruttaqwa from Corvette type.

The Asean Russia Naval Exercise 2021 is the first to be held with the theme "Joint Actions to Ensure the Safety of Maritime Economic Activity and Civil Navigations".
 

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