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Defence Minister meets Russian Foreign Minister



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Minister for Defence - Defence Minister meets Russian Foreign Minister

31 January 2012

Today in Sydney I met with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Sergey Lavrov, who

is in Australia 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.”

Media Contact:

Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392 Department of Defence: (02) 6127 1999