Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus in Việt Nam Uladzimir Baravikou writes for Việt Nam News on Belarus National Day (July 3)
Belarus and Việt Nam have long-standing warm relations. Việt Nam is one of our key partners in South-East Asia.
We have seen significant progress in your country in recent times. The economy is gradually recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. GDP is growing. Political contacts, as well as the role of Việt Nam in the international arena, are expanding. We express congratulations on the successful hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. All this is the exceptional merit of the Vietnamese people under the leadership of the Communist Party.
Our countries have a lot in common. The Vietnamese people, like the Belarusian people, have learned to survive and resist aggression throughout their history.
The architectural complex at the Railway Station Square in Minsk. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
On July 3, we celebrate a national holiday – the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. On this day in 1944, the capital of our country, the city of Minsk, was liberated from Nazi invaders.
During the Second World War, a real genocide was applied to the Belarusian people – every third Belarusian, more than three million people died. More than 200 cities and settlements were destroyed and burned. But we survived and restored the country. We cherish the memory of that war, which for us will forever remain the Great and Patriotic War!
Belarus is once again denied the right to an equal and mutually respectful dialogue and the right to live on its own land according to its own Law. We are not listened to! Labels are hung on us, and countless and baseless sanctions are imposed. Our friends and partners are under unprecedented pressure.
Belarus has never been a friend against or to the detriment of anyone. It has always proceeded from the need to ensure mutual benefit and consider the interests of partners, even when they have taken unfriendly steps. We have always taken responsibility; we have been a donor of security and stability in Europe. That is what our State has done, is doing, and will do its best to resolve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully.
We highly value friendly ties with Việt Nam and strive to bring our relations to the level of strategic partnership. In confirmation of this, in May this year, we opened the Consulate General in HCM City.
This year is significant. Belarus and Việt Nam established diplomatic relations 30 years ago! But the history of friendship and mutual sympathy between our peoples is much more profound. Thousands of Vietnamese citizens studied and worked in our republic during the years of the Soviet Union. Belarusians helped the formation of an independent Vietnamese state. We managed to maintain sincerity, mutual sympathy and a deep trust in each other.
Belarus is interested in restoring the pre-COVID level and the dynamics of contacts with Việt Nam at a high level. We hope that this year it will be possible to organise the visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus to Việt Nam.
In 2021, the trade turnover between the countries reached more than US$200 million. However, the potential in this area is far from exhausted. BELAZ mining dump trucks, MAZ trucks, and Belarus tractors have been known in Việt Nam for many decades.
By the way, it is the Belarusian tractor that is depicted on the banknote of 200 Vietnamese đồng. Many people also remember the legendary motorcycle the "Minsk," known since the days of the USSR.
In turn, the Belarusian consumer is well acquainted with such traditional Vietnamese goods as silk, seafood, tea and coffee, etc. Recently, Vietnamese microcircuits and electronic equipment under the brand "Made in Việt Nam" have become widely known.
Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
Belarusians know and like the resorts of Việt Nam well. They prefer the local weather, the availability of services and many other advantages compared to other countries. We will be glad if Vietnamese citizens visit Belarusian sanatoriums, nature reserves, and places of military glory and plunge into the atmosphere of the centuries-old traditions of the Belarusian people. The only thing missing is direct flights. But we are working on it: we are working on the launch of charter flights, and in the future, possibly regular ones.
In the relations between our countries, the folk wisdom “A friend in need is a friend indeed” has a special meaning. In December last year, Belarus delivered humanitarian cargo to Việt Nam with a total weight of more than 15 tonnes, containing medical and personal protective equipment. In response, the Vietnamese side handed over tests to Belarus to determine the coronavirus infection.
Even though we are separated by more than 7,000 kilometres, I am convinced that our peoples' long-term strong and sincere friendship will adequately respond to emerging challenges and bring cooperation between our countries to a higher level. — VNS