On June 12, the Rus-sian people celebrate their National Day.
|Heart of the nation: Red Square is buzzing when Russia celebrated her National Day on Tuesday. — File Photo
On this day 22 years ago (1990), the Russian Federation declared to the world her national sovereignty, ushering in a new era for the country's contemporary history. In the past 22 years, our people have overcome many difficulties and challenges while reorganising and strengthening the nation in the context of a rapidly changing world. The Russian people have succeeded in many achievements regarding the nation's important and urgent tasks. As a result, our basic state institutions, democratic politics system and market economy have been consolidated considerably, as our country's status in the international arena. Thanks to all those achievements, Russia has stood firm amid the world's deep crisis.
In 2011 Russia's GDP saw an increase of more than 4 per cent, while that of industrial production was 5 per cent and basic capital construction was 4.8 per cent. Our export turnover increased by about 33 per cent, the inflation rate was capped at under 7 per cent and the public debt was kept at a minimum.
The decision to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had great significance for the country. Our democratic institutions have been consolidated while the civil society has played a big role with positive impacts in social organisations and the Russian citizens.
Russia has now entered a new development stage. The results of the Duma elections in December 2011 and the Presidential Elections in March 2012 created a premise for the country to advance and become a strong democratic state which is ruled by law and as fair society.
Russia has paid special attention to the Asia-Pacific region and considered itself an inseparable part of it.
A new horizon is being ushered in for Russia, particularly the Siberia and the Far East when it was elected as the Chairman of the APEC Forum in 2012. Such a noble position has enabled our country to infiltrate deeper into the region.
To develop comprehensive relationships with Viet Nam – our old and reliable friend – is a top priority in our foreign policy goal in Asia. Here I just want to emphasise that after being inaugurated for a new term, President Vladimir Putin signed a Presidential Decree setting out a clear task of strengthening the relationships with Viet Nam – one of Russia's key strategic partners in the region.
The Russia-Viet Nam strategic partnership is based on age-old, friendly, diversified and reliable traditions between the two nations. Our common bilateral history contains no dark pages or any complicated problems. In the present day, our bilateral relationships have reached a higher level and continued to widen in scope and mode of co-operation in all domains, including politics, economics, trade, science, technology and humanity. In the recent past, the two countries have taken important steps to put signed agreements between Vietnamese and Russian senior leaders into practice.
Trade exchanges between Russia and Viet Nam in 2011 surpassed the figure of US$3 billion. We think that there will be a balance surge in bilateral trade in the future. In addition, the Russian – Vietnamese co-operation in energy, oil and gas, military technology and other high-tech fields has reported progress with initial successes in all projects. In July 2010, the Vietsovptetro Joint Venture celebrated its 30 years of operation in Viet Nam's offshore continental shelf. It is expected that in a few years' time, oil exploration in the Nenets Autonomous Region of the Russian Federation by the joint venture Rus-Vietpetro will reach 1.5 million tonnes of oil. Meanwhile the Vietgazprom joint venture with the participation from the Russian Gazprom is now conducting exploration of a new oil well in Viet Nam's continental shelf.
In the long-term co-operation, nuclear energy will become a special area of interest for both Russia and Viet Nam. In November 2011, the two countries signed a series of documents – laying a foundation for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Viet Nam. In reality, work has started already. To help Viet Nam build this nuclear plant, Russian will assist in training Vietnamese technicians, and building legal documents on nuclear energy, operation safety and others.
In addition to bilateral co-operation in economics-trade and science and technology, the two sides will also expand their co-operation in other fields, including education and culture, as well as between localities.
Political dialogues at different levels, including the senior level between the two countries, have played a great significance in the Viet Nam-Russia relationships. It is my hope that meetings between Russian and Vietnamese leaders this year will further promote the strategic partnership between the two nations.
Once again, I emphasise that Russia has placed a top priority in expanding her relationships with Viet Nam in the future and in the long-term diplomatic policies in Asia. This is all for the interest of the two nations and of the Asia-Pacific region. — VNS