Việt Nam-Russia ties continue a strong tradition with President Putin's State visit: Ambassador

June 18, 2024 - 17:47
Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's State visit to Việt Nam from June 19-20, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Đặng Minh Khôi spoke with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Moscow about the current relationship between the two countries and measures to promote bilateral cooperation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.— AFP/VNA Photo

MOSCOW — The Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Đặng Minh Khôi reflected on the stronger Việt Nam-Russia ties over the past two decades since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership and how they can lead to a brighter future during the talks with Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Moscow, on the eve of upcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin's State visit on June 19-20.

According to Khôi, after a period of disruption in the early 1990s, the determination and efforts of the leaders and people of both nations have led to significant progress in Việt Nam-Russia relations, continuing the fine tradition of friendship between the two peoples.

The two countries established a Strategic Partnership in 2001 and a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2012.

Over the past two decades, he said, the two countries can be proud of their achievements as relations have comprehensively developed in both breadth and depth.

Political relations are marked by high levels of trust, facilitated through various forms and mechanisms of political cooperation such as regular high-level visit exchanges.

These exchanges enable leaders of the two countries to share information and promptly direct the development of bilateral relations.

The two sides have established and effectively implemented numerous mechanisms such as intergovernmental committee meetings, strategic dialogues and annual political consultations, contributing to increased mutual understanding and trust, forming a basis to promote all-round cooperation.

Việt Nam and Russia have supported and closely cooperated within international and regional organisations such as the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

Positive developments

Economic and trade cooperations have been positive, with bilateral trade growing by 10-15 per cent annually during certain periods, a result of the Free Trade Agreement between Việt Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Despite global and regional instability, trade turnover in 2023 still exceeded US$3.6 billion.

In terms of investment, Russia has nearly 200 projects in Việt Nam with a total capital of almost $1 billion. Vietnamese investment in Russia has surged from around $100 million in the early 2000s to $3 billion in 2023.

A significant highlight in economic cooperation is the robust development in the energy and oil sectors.

The two sides have effectively collaborated in oil and gas exploration not only on Việt Nam's continental shelf, but also within Russian territory with large projects.

Besides the Vietsovpetro joint venture - the leading oil and gas cooperation, other active joint ventures have been operated in both countries.

Bilateral cooperation in science and technology, culture, education, tourism and local affairs continues to expand. Science-technology and education-training cooperation have been elevated to strategic levels.

Russia has become an attractive destination for many Vietnamese students, thanks to high-quality scholarship and training programmes.

Thousands of Vietnamese students study in Russia every year, including in key industries such as energy, oil and gas and fundamental sciences.

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese scientific staff, engineers and technical workers trained in Russia, have made positive and effective contributions to Việt Nam's economy and fostered a bridge of friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

Frequent cultural exchanges, have further enhanced mutual understanding and created favourable conditions to promote cooperation in other areas.

Russia remains one of the top tourist markets for Việt Nam.

Cooperation in traditional fields continues to develop based on a reliable partnership, in accordance with international law, contributing to peace, stability and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Minh Vũ and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia V. Titov co-chair the 13th Việt Nam-Russia Foreign Affairs-National Defence-Security Strategic Dialogue in March 2024.—VNA/VNS Photo An Đăng

Significant implications

Regarding the significance of President Vladimir Putin's visit in realising the Joint Declaration on the Vision for a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations until 2030, Khôi said the visit would be particularly meaningful.

It is not only a significant diplomatic event, but also a demonstration of Russia's commitment to its multifaceted cooperation with Việt Nam, according to the ambassador.

This contributes to strengthening mutual friendship and trust, laying a solid foundation for the comprehensive development of bilateral relations in the future.

President Putin's visit also provides an opportunity for the leaders of both countries to discuss and outline specific measures to enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation, including boosting the implementation of major cooperative projects, particularly in areas such as energy, industry and agriculture.

Additionally, the visit aims to boost cooperation in other fundamental fields.

During the visit, the leaders will discuss and guide the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership until 2030.

Long-term goals and specific action plans will be outlined to ensure sustainable and effective bilateral relations in the future.

The occasion also reaffirms both nations' commitment to cooperation on international and regional issues. Close coordination in multilateral forums and international organisations is expected to contribute to regional and global peace, stability and development.

Furthermore, President Putin's visit will inject new momentum into cultural exchanges and people-to-people diplomacy.

Cultural, educational and tourism cooperation programmes will be vigorously promoted, enhancing mutual understanding and bonding between the peoples of the two countries.

Khôi expressed his confidence that the visit would mark a significant milestone, showcasing the strong and sustainable development of the special relationship between Việt Nam and Russia, steering bilateral relations firmly on the open path towards a good future of loyal friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.

Promoting cooperation

Addressing measures to enhance cooperation in education and training, science and technology, as well as strengthening economic and trade relations, Khôi added that cooperation had been highly effective, increasingly diverse and substantive, forming important foundations for the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

In recent times, economic and trade cooperation between Việt Nam and Russia faced several challenges related to transport and logistics.

Both countries had actively promoted delegations at various levels, regularly coordinating to resolve the difficulties.

Trade turnover in the early months of this year showed considerable growth.

However, the scale of economic and trade cooperation remained limited, not meeting the expectations of the leaders and business communities, nor fully exploiting the vast potential and strengths based on the excellent relationship.

To promote economic and trade cooperation, Khôi suggested some following measures.

Việt Nam and Russia should fully utilise the benefits and advantages of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Việt Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), of which Russia is a member, thereby meeting the import-export needs of both countries and integrating more deeply into regional supply chains. Enterprises from both countries should better exploit advantages and opportunities to increase investment and production in each other's markets.

For Vietnamese businesses, it would be necessary to research and boldly invest in Russia in the fields of agricultural product processing, food, seafood, garments and wooden products.

The two sides needed to find suitable solutions to current challenges to ensure smooth trade, protecting the interests of businesses.

Russia should prioritise visa exemptions for Vietnamese businesses exploring the market, trade promotion delegations and tourist groups for at least 30 days.

If implemented, the policy would bring significant economic benefits and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

To advance scientific and technological cooperation, the two countries should focus on implementing joint research programmes in areas where Russia has strengths and Việt Nam has needs, such as life sciences, energy technology, space technology and environmental resource management.

Appropriate policies and financial resources should be allocated for joint research programmes and exchanges between scientific staff. Networking among research and training institutions should be strengthened.

In terms of education and training cooperation, this is an important aspect of the Joint Declaration on the Vision for a Strategic Partnership between Việt Nam and Russia until 2030.

To further promote the effectiveness of cooperation in this field, efforts should be made to complete the legal framework, promptly sign new agreements to replace those signed in 2005, agreements on establishing and operating the Pushkin Centre and extend the agreement on Training Vietnamese Citizens in Russia until 2030.

Việt Nam should prioritise sending Vietnamese students to Russia for technical, applied sciences and financial technology courses, coordinating among relevant ministries to increase scholarships for medical and cultural training programmes.

The Russian government offers 1,000 scholarships to Vietnamese citizens every year to study in Russia.

It is crucial to promote Russian education and universities in Vietnamese localities, expanding recruitment to increase scholarship opportunities for Vietnamese students nationwide, according to the ambassador.

Khôi hoped that with the excellent foundation of bilateral relations, President Putin's State visit to Việt Nam would bring new impetus for closer and more effective cooperation, paving the way for a brighter future.— VNS