|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi yesterday. Viet Nam and Russia are determined to further their co-operation across a variety of fields. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
MOSCOW (VNS)— Viet Nam highly valued Russia's affirmation of its new foreign policy towards Viet Nam as a prioritised partner in the region, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the city of Sochi yesterday.
During the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance relations through the exchange of delegations, especially those at the highest level.
The PM informed President Putin of the East Sea situation and pledged to create all possible favourable conditions for Russian oil and gas companies to expand operations in the continental shelf and offshore Viet Nam in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In response, Putin said Russia attached much importance to the maintenance of peace and stability in the East Sea and hoped relevant parties settled East Sea disputes on the basis of international law.
As for economic co-operation, the two sides shared their opinions that two-way trade remained modest and below its potential. The signing of a free trade area agreement between Viet Nam and the Union of Customs would contribute to raising two-way trade to US$10 billionby 2020.
Dung and Putin stressed that energy co-operation was among the top priorities between the two nations. The Russian side would continue oil and gas exploitation activities in Viet Nam's continental shelf and encourage the two countries' joint ventures to expand co-operation in Russia.
In the field of nuclear power, they vowed to work closely on building the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant as scheduled.
Speaking highly of military technology co-operation,the two sides committed to gradually strengthening ties, especially joint production and maintenance of weapons and armed materials.
Dung conveyed President Truong Tan Sang's invitation for President Putin to visit Viet Nam, which Putin accepted with pleasure.
After the meeting, Dung witnessed the signing of a co-operation agreement between the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group and Rosneft Corporation on searching, surveying and exploiting oil and gas in Russia, Viet Nam and other countries.
In a Joint Communique issued after the visit, the Prime Ministers of Viet Nam and Russia underscored that the lifting of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership had created a strong driving force for the development of bilateral co-operation.
Leaders of the Vietnamese and Russian Governments agreed to take measures to boost two-way trade to US$7 billion by 2015 and US$10 billion by 2020.
The two sides will negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement covering trade, investment, services and issues of mutual concern.
They highly valued bilateral co-operation in nuclear energy and attached special importance to the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam and Russia are unanimous in furthering collaboration in national defence and security in the spirit of agreements reached by the two countries' leaders.
The two PMs affirmed their determination to implement the high-level agreements reached by President Truong Tan Sang and President Vladimir Putin in July 2012 on accelerating the Viet Nam -Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in foreign policies as well as boosting co-ordination in the international arena, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia – Pacific region and the world.
During PM Dung's visit, the two sides signed a tourism co-operation plan between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Agency for Tourism of Russia and a co-operation programme between the Vietnamese and Russian Ministries of Justice for the 2013-2014 period.
On the same day, after leaving Russia, Dung and his delegation arrived in Minsk, Belarus to start his formal three-day visit to the country at the invitation of Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich. — VNS