|Famous poet: Portrait of prominent Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin and his spouse Natalia Goncharova, drawn by Vietnamese painter Lê Lâm.—Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Russia|
To mark the National Day of the Russian Federation on June 12, Việt Nam News presents an article by Konstantin V Vnukov, ambassador of the Russian Federation to Việt Nam
On June 12, our country celebrates its national holiday – the Day of Russia. This important date not only marks the anniversary of major political and economic reforms, but also reflects the centuries-old history of the Russian state. The Day of Russia demonstrates peace and accords that exist between all citizens, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
Today, the successful development of our country is impossible without her active participation in global affairs. Willing to strengthen mutually beneficial co-operation with the entire world, Russia, as the largest Eurasian power, pays special attention to the Asia-Pacific region, which is the centre of contemporary politics and economy.
At the same time, one of our main goals in the region is advancing comprehensive strategic partnership with Việt Nam, Russia’s closest ally in the Asia–Pacific region.
The leaders of the two countries hold regular political dialogue and closely work together in the international arena. Recently, Russia and Việt Nam reached breakthrough agreements in practical spheres, including the FTA between the Eurasian Economic Union and Việt Nam, the automobile assembly deal, mutual efforts in the field of nuclear energy and hi-tech projects in the oil and gas sphere, as well as bilateral initiatives in investment and agriculture.
At the same time, the main feature of the 66-year Russia–Việt Nam relations have been not only advanced political and economic ties, but also close friendship between the two peoples, and kind feelings of the Russian and Vietnamese peoples for each other.
The other day, we witnessed the opening of an exhibition of Vietnamese painter Lê Lâm, who studied arts in our country and dedicated many of his pictures to her. His life, the major parts of which were spent studying in the Soviet Union and participating in Việt Nam’s struggle for liberation, reflects the destiny of a whole generation of Vietnamese people, who harbour extremely special feelings for Russia. It is to be noted that his exhibition was timed to coincide with an important date for anyone who speaks Russian, the event being the birth anniversary of great poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837).
It is also symbolic that some time ago Saint-Petersburg hosted an exhibition of works of distinguished Russian painter Alexey Kuznetsov who lived in Hà Nội in the early 1960s and devoted many of his works to Việt Nam, including the picture of its first President Hồ Chí Minh.
Lately, Russia and Việt Nam have intensified cultural exchanges. Last year, we held in Việt Nam a Russian films week, a “Feel Russia” festival, and a concert of Kuban Cossack Chorus. Two music bands from our country also participated in the Huế arts festival.
Vietnamese artists performed at the ASEAN cultural festival in Sochi, while the Days of Hà Nội event took place in Moscow. A real present for our national holiday is the organising of the Days of Vietnamese Culture in Moscow and Volgograd, during which Russians can enjoy an exhibition of traditional silk paintings and folk music concerts.
Another opportunity to learn more about each other is certainly tourism. We appreciate the efforts being taken by the Vietnamese government to attract our people to Việt Nam. We are also happy to receive guests from all over the world, including Việt Nam. For the purpose of promoting Russian hospitality in the region, a “Visit Russia Asia” national tourist office was opened in Hà Nội in April.
The two countries traditionally pay great attention to education. In the next academic year, the Russian government will provide 855 scholarships to Vietnamese students, with the aim of raising this figure to 1,000 in the near future.
Russian and Vietnamese study programmes in both countries play an important role in promoting mutual understanding between the two peoples. We value the support the Vietnamese government provides to the Ha Noi branch of the Pushkin Institute of Russian language and the Russian centres in the Hà Nội State and Hồ Chí Minh Pedagogical Universities, financed by “Russkiy Mir Foundation”.
The most well-known centres of Vietnamese studies in Russia are in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Vladivostok. There one can learn literally everything about Viet Nam, such as its ancient and medieval history and philology to contemporary politics and economy. Moreover, Saint-Petersburg has the Institute of Ho Chi Minh, the only one of its kind outside Việt Nam.
The Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Hà Nội, the doors of which are always open to those who want to learn more about the rich Russian culture, plays an important role in broadening humanitarian ties between the two countries. — VNS
|Painting a President: Russian painter Aleksey Kuznetsov painting President Hồ Chí Minh in Hà Nội in the early 1960s.—Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Russia|
|Finished work: Portrait of President Hồ Chí Minh painted by Russian painter Aleksey Kuznetsov.—Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Russia|