National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (R) receives Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, President of the Russian Federal Council in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko, President of the Russian Federal Council, stated that Russia aims to continue to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two legislatures of Russia and Việt Nam.
She made the statement during talks with National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân immediately after her welcome ceremony in Hà Nội yesterday.
Matvienko expressed her delight at the maintenance of regular political dialogues at all levels, particularly at parliamentary, ministry and agency levels.
She added that both sides made a number of important commitments during Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s official visit to Russia in May 2016, as well as a meeting between the Vietnamese and Russian Presidents on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Peru in late 2016, which she said laid down orientations for the development of bilateral ties.
Russia treasures the development of bilateral economic and investment ties, she stated, adding that Việt Nam has become the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), opening a new opportunity to accelerate economic-trade links and facilitate Việt Nam’s access to goods from EEU and vice versa.
Positive results have also been recorded in cultural cooperation as Việt Nam Cultural Days were regularly launched in Russia as were Russian Cultural Days in Việt Nam. Over 300,000 Russians visited Việt Nam in 2016, and the figure will continue to rise.
Hailing the partnership between the two countries’ localities as an effective cooperation channel, Matvienko suggested the friendship parliamentarian organisations of the two nations make a report on the efficiency of their joint work.
Concerning education-training, over 50,000 Vietnamese experts have so far been trained in Russia. In addition, Russia is considering increasing scholarships to Vietnamese students. Russia offered 1,000 State scholarships to Vietnamese students ahead of the 2018 deadline.
NA Chairwoman Ngân, for her part, reiterated that Việt Nam always prioritises reinforcing and developing the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and wishes to enhance effective coordination between the two countries, legislatures and localities.
Speaking highly of mutual support at multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations, Ngan asked Russia to back Việt Nam’s bid to run for a seat at the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, and expressed her appreciation for joint actions between the two parliaments at international parliamentary forum, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union and other forums.
She shared her view with her guest that two-way trade is growing robustly toward the targeted US$10 billion by 2020. Both sides have worked effectively together in diverse areas, especially in energy and oil and gas.
The Vietnamese leader thanked the Russian law-making body for adopting a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas cooperation to facilitate the operation of the VietsovPetro-RusvietPetro joint venture.
Both sides agreed that the regular exchange of delegations between the Vietnamese NA and the Federal Council of Russia will make it easier for furthering the bilateral ties. The two legislatures will create more favourable conditions to expand linkage across energy, oil and gas, agriculture, industry and tourism while intensifying the supervision of cooperation agreement realization.
Ngân affirmed Việt Nam’s support for Russia’s active involvement in projects in the country, and agreed with Matvienko’s proposal to review signed and adopted agreements and issue a document to effectively realise the FTA between Việt Nam and the EEU.
The two countries’ friendship parliamentary groups will be assigned to oversee the implementation of signed agreements.
She proposed the Russian legislature back the signing of an agreement on food safety control between the two governments, making it easier for Vietnamese firms to export agro-fisheries products to Russia.
The NA Chairwoman stated her wish for increased bilateral collaboration across national defence-security, education-training, science-technology, culture-tourism and fields of Russia’s strength and Việt Nam’s demand.
On the occasion, she expressed thanks to Russian government and stated her desire that the nation continue offering assistance to Vietnamese nationals in the host country.
Following the talks, host and guest met the press to inform the outcomes of their discussions. They confirmed their determination to unceasingly strengthen and step up the relations between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the Federal Council of Russia.
Meeting with the President
During a reception for the Russian top legislator in Hà Nội on the same day, President Quang expressed his hope that the two countries would witness breakthroughs in economic and trade cooperation in 2017, suggesting the two sides soon early reach consensus on priority areas of cooperation for the year.
He stressed Việt Nam considered energy cooperation with Russia as a strategic field, adding that Việt Nam highly appreciated the effective operation of the joint ventures Vietsovpetro and Rusvietpetro, as well as contributions by the two countries’ petroleum industries to bilateral economic relations.
The President noted that the two sides should coordinate closely to effectively implement the free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union, thus fully tapping advantages brought by the deal to expand export and investment to each other’s markets.
Talks with PM
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday when meeting with Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko that Việt Nam wants to expand collaboration with Russia on issues of defence and security.
The two countries boast a time-tested friendship, and Việt Nam always prioritised the enhancement of its strategic partnership with Russia, he said. He also noted with satisfaction the political relationship of special trust, which has been consolidated through delegation exchanges, particularly at high levels. Both sides have also maintained close coordination at international meetings.
Relevant ministries and sectors of Việt Nam and Russia should work together more closely to conclude the Việt Nam–Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in order to raise bilateral trade to US$10 billion by 2020, he said. He asked the Russian parliament to supervise the FTA realisation and help issue the necessary documents for the deal to be implemented.
He also asked the Russian side to support the early signing of an agreement on food safety control to facilitate Việt Nam’s export of agricultural and aquatic products to Russia.
Việt Nam hopes Russia will assist the implementation of a Vietnamese light industry zone project, investment projects of the TH True Milk group, and investment activities of other Vietnamese businesses there. Aside from oil and gas cooperation projects, Việt Nam also supports Russia’s involvement in its energy projects (hydropower and renewable energy) and infrastructure projects (railway, metro).
At the meeting, Phúc affirmed his country considered Russia a prioritised partner in military co-operation.
He thanked the Russian parliament and Government for helping the Southeast Asian nation in manpower training, and for planning to increase the number of scholarships for Việt Nam to 1,000 each year. The two sides should continue considering the establishment of a Russian university in Việt Nam while pressing on with teaching Russian here, he said.
Việt Nam would support the organisation of Russian Culture Days in Việt Nam this year, the leader said, adding that it was providing e-visas for Russian citizens and hoped that the number of Russian tourists to Việt Nam would keep rising.
For her part, Chairwoman Matvienko congratulated Việt Nam on its socio-economic and diplomatic achievements, stressing that her visit to Việt Nam aimed to tighten co-operation with the Vietnamese NA and people in the spirit of the comprehensive strategic partnership.-—VNS