|Arm in arm: Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev visits the Cu Chi Memorial Complex in HCM City in April. — Photo courtesy of Russian Embassy
To mark the national day of the Russian Federation tomorrow, Viet Nam News presents an article by Russian Ambassador Konstantin V. Vnukov.
It is a great honour for me to present an article on the occasion of the National Day of my home country, the Russian Federation.
This important date not only marks the anniversary of major political and economic reforms that were launched 25 years ago, but also reflects the centuries-old history of the Russian state.
Russia has walked a long way full of bright victories and severe trials. Nowadays, it is confidently moving forward on the path of creative development.
Currently, our main task is to build a powerful and stable state that provides favourable conditions for the life of people, their well-being and intellectual development. More economic growth, rise in living standards and large-scale modernisation are obviously impossible without multi-dimensional cooperation with other states, vigorous diplomatic activity both in the West and in the East.
Strengthening relations with Viet Nam is indeed one of the top foreign-policy priorities of my country. Being comprehensive strategic partners, Russia and Viet Nam are bound by decades-long traditions of friendship, mutual support and trust.
Marking the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations this year, we are glad that Russian-Vietnamese ties are steadily developing, creating new opportunities and forms of co-operation in political, economic and humanitarian spheres at all levels from state leaders to common people.
High level contracts
The evidence of this are intensive high-level con-tacts that have taken place during the last year, including visits to Russia by Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, and President Truong Tan Sang.
There have also been visits to Viet Nam by Russia's Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and Speaker of the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin.
Recently, we opened a new stage in the history of bilateral co-operation. A free-trade agreement (FTA) between the Eurasian Economic Union and Viet Nam was signed in May. Viet Nam became the first state with which EAEU has reached an agreement of this kind.
I am convinced that the FTA will significantly boost bilateral trade and investment flow between Russia and Viet Nam. The priorities of our co-operation include oil and gas sector, power engineering, atomic energy, mining, high technologies, light and food industry.
While recognising the need for expanding trade, economic and investment co-operation we do not ignore the importance of humanitarian ties, including education, personnel training, culture and tourism.
Russia and Viet Nam have a history of educational co-operation. Since the 1950s, more than 150,000 Vietnamese people have graduated from Soviet and Russian universities.
More than 30,000 received higher education and about 2,000 became doctors of arts and sciences.
Today, more than 6,000 Vietnamese students study in Russia. The Government of the Russian Federation constantly increases the number of scholarships provided for Vietnamese – from 200 in 2007 to 800 in the coming academic years. By 2018 this figure will rise to 1,000. Our countries are also actively working on establishing a Vietnamese-Russian technological university in Ha Noi.
Bilateral cultural co-operation also has great potential. This autumn, we will again organise the Days of Russian culture in Viet Nam that year after year enjoy wide popularity. Vietnamese artists also plan to arrange a number of concert programmes in the Russian Federation.
Tourist exchanges also make a great contribution to developing relations bet-ween our nations. We are happy to see that more and more Russians choose Viet Nam as a destination.
One of the main reasons for this is the 15-day visa free period introduced by the Government of Viet Nam for the citizens of my country. We are also willing to welcome Vietnamese guests in Russia and together with our colleagues make efforts to ease migration rules.
The Centre of Russian Science and Culture in Ha Noi on Kim Ma Street plays an important role in promoting cultural, scientific and social ties between the two countries. Every week, it hosts a variety of events, including concerts, presentations, language courses and exhibitions. Doors of the centre are always open for those who want to enjoy Russian hospitality! — VNS