Professor Anthony Milner, Visiting Professor at Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) and Centre for ASEAN Regionalism University of Malaya (CARUM), engaged in the 'ASEAN Academic Days' program at MGIMO University in Moscow in the second week of October. The ASEAN Centre at that university has a growing interest in Malaysia and is keen to develop relations with AEI and CARUM.
Professor Milner gave four presentations over the week - October 8, 9, 10 and 14 - covering the progress of Southeast Asian Studies, Malay and Malaysian history, and current developments in Asian regionalism (including in Track 2 initiatives).
Brief overviews of Russian academic interest in Southeast Asia are to be found in Victor Sumsky, Mark Hong and Amy Lugg (eds), ASEAN-Russia. Foundations and Future Prospects (Singapore: ISEAS, 2012); and in Ekaterina Koldunova, 'Southeast Asian Studies in Russia: Agents against Structural Limits', in Albert Tzeng, William L. Richter and Ekaterina Koldunova (eds), Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics and Institutions (Singapore: ISEAS, 2018). Professor Milner had detailed discussions with both Dr Victor Sumsky (Director of the ASEAN Centre, MGIMO University) and Dr Ekaterina Koldunova (Deputy Dean, School of Political Affairs, MGIMO University).
MGIMO University - or Moscow State Institute of International Affairs - is connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and plays a special role in training Russian diplomats. Henry Kissinger once called it the "Harvard of Russia' because of its role in training the Russian elite.
Professor Milner, together with Dr Dr Sumsky and Dr Koldunova, met with the Rector - Professor Anatoly Torkunov - to discuss MGIMO relations with academia in both Malaysia and Australia.
Other participants in the MGIMO 'ASEAN Academic Days' program included Dr Alan T. Ortiz (Center for Philippine Futuristics), Dr. Kuik Cheng-Chwee (UKM), H.E. Nur Hassan Wirajuda (Foreign Minister of Indonesia, 2001-2009), and Dr Jittipat Poonkham (Thammasat University). The audience included senior officials from both the Malaysian and the Australian embassies.
Apart from these Moscow seminars and meetings, Professor Milner made a brief visit to Saint Petersburg, where he held discussions with Professor Vladimir Kolotov, Head of The Far East History Department at the Saint-Petersburg State University. The University, which teaches an enormous number of Asian languages, may well be a productive partner for the University of Malaya. Profess Kolotov is a Vietnam specialist, and Vietnamese studies is certainly a strong field in Russia.
Written by Prof. Anthony Milner