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DEFENCE

Russia Promises Training, Friendship for TL

Russia Promises Training, Friendship for TL

Russian Military Attache, Sergey Zhenovatyy, is pictured with Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste Defense Minister Filomen Paixao de Jesus. (Image/Ministry of Defense)

DILI, 14 October 2019 (TATOLI) — Timor-Leste’s defence Minister, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, has hosted his third major foreign military delegation in the space of a week, this time with representatives from Russia.

The Ambassador of Russia to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva, and her Navy military attaché Sergey Zenovatyy, paid a “courtesy call” on the ministries of Defense and Justice in Dili this morning.

Mr Paixão said as Timor-Leste “is such a young country,” it aims to establish defense cooperation “with all countries”.

“Especially today in the global world, [where] we encounter many crises, all countries need to create partnerships and cooperation,” he said.

The meeting follows previous talks between Mr Paixão and Russia’s Vice-Minister of Defense, Col. General Alexander Vasilyevic Fomin, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Marjen Dialogue in June.

In a statement, Ambassador Lyudmila Vorobieva said while Timor-Leste and Russia are yet to form strong defence ties, the two countries “have always” supported each other at the United Nations level.

Ms Vorobieva said F-FDTL staff will soon be able to apply for scholarships to study at major Russian institutions, and that Timor-Leste would be invited to a number of defence forums in the country.

She said the next phase would be to “intensify” interest in education or capacity building for F-FDTL military and civilian staff.

Related news: “Deep Gratitude” for Chinese military aid: Paixão

Russia is just the latest global power Timor-Leste has reached out to. Last week, Mr Paixão heaped praise on China’s involvement in training F-FDTL members, during a visit from a PLA naval vessel. And last Monday, Mr Paixão also called for greater cooperation with South Korea, during talks with Lt.-Gen. Lee Seokgu and Defense Minister, Seo Young-Man.

Moscow was one of the first countries to recognise East Timor’s independence in 2002, and took part in UN aid programs. But today neither country has a resident ambassador; Russia is represented in Timor-Leste through its Jakarta embassy.

But the Ambassador told Mr Paixão, Russia intends to appoint a military attaché specifically for Timor-Leste, with an eye on further security and police training.

Originally published in Tetum as: Rúsia Estabelese Kooperasaun Defeza ho Timor-Leste

Journalist: Eujevio Perreira

Editors: Francisco Simõens; Robert Baird

Translation: Nelia Borges

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