Russian President’s state visit to create new momentum for bilateral ties: Scholars

June 18, 2024 - 18:44
Việt Nam is the only Southeast Asian country to welcome Russian Presidents six times, including the upcoming visit of President Putin.

HÀ NỘI — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Việt Nam from June 19-20 is expected to create a momentum for the bilateral ties to develop to a new height, according to scholars.

Phan Anh Sơn, President of the Việt Nam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) noted that since Việt Nam and Russia (formerly known as the Soviet Union) established their diplomatic relations in 1950, the two countries have gained many achievements in their partnership in all fields from politics, diplomacy and defence-security to economy-trade-investment, science-technology, education, and especially people-to-people diplomacy.

Sơn held that the relationship between Việt Nam and the former Soviet Union in the past and the current Việt Nam-Russia relations, including people-to-people ties, have overcome many challenges and been nurtured and reinforced by generations of people of the two nations.

The VUFO President said that important milestones in the history of relations between the two countries have laid a solid foundation for the diplomatic activities of the people of Việt Nam and Russia today.

In Việt Nam, there are many people who love the former Soviet Union and Russia nowadays, reflecting the time-tested relations painstakingly nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries, he said.

The people-to-people diplomacy between the Vietnamese and Russian people is not only about the cooperation between the Việt Nam-Russia and Russia-Việt Nam Friendship Associations, but also the collaboration between the VUFO and many local organisations of Việt Nam with their Russian peers.

Currently, in political and diplomatic activities of high-ranking Vietnamese delegations to Russia, there are meetings with people's organisations of Russia, and the Vietnamese community living, studying and working in the country.

The VUFO leader also mentioned new cooperation development, including the signing of a new cooperation agreement between the Việt Nam-Russia Friendship Association with the Herzen University of Russia in promoting people-to-people exchange, popularising and promoting Russian culture and language in Việt Nam and Vietnamese language and culture in Russia.

In the coming time, the VUFO will establish new cooperation relations with other reputable universities of Russia such as the St. Petersburg University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, he said.

Sơn expressed his hope that similar events will continue to take place in the future, including during the upcoming visit to Việt Nam by President Putin.

He also showed his optimism about the bright future of the ties between Việt Nam and Russia in the people diplomacy channel when the two sides are heading to the 75th founding anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2025.

The VUFO President revealed that the union is discussing with Russian partners the organisation of the first Việt Nam-Russia People Forum in 2025, which is expected to be held annually latter on in Việt Nam or Russia, providing chances for the two sides to promote exchanges to reinforce the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two nations' people, and creating new steps in the bilateral cooperation in many fields.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Đăng Phát, Vice President and General Secretary of the Việt Nam-Russia Friendship Association, said that President Putin's upcoming state visit to Việt Nam is of significance in three aspects.

First, Việt Nam is the only Southeast Asian country to welcome Russian Presidents six times, including the upcoming visit of President Putin.

President Putin had been to Việt Nam four times, including two official visits in 2001 and 2013 and two times when he attended APEC high-level meetings in Hà Nội and Đà Nẵng in 2006 and 2017 respectively. In 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev made an official visit to Việt Nam. These visited showed that the Russian leaders have treasured the relationship with Việt Nam.

Second, Phát emphasised, President Putin’s upcoming visit to Việt Nam will take place at the beginning of his new term, which demonstrates the importance that Russia and the leader personally attach to Việt Nam.

Phat added that on March 31, 2023, President Putin signed a decree adopting Russia’s new foreign policy concept. Currently, Russia’s foreign policy is still following this strategically significant document and Việt Nam is still one of the priorities in Russia's foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Third, President Putin's visit takes place on the occasion when Việt Nam and Russia are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the 'Treaty on Principles of Friendly Relations between the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam and the Russian Federation' (June 16, 1994 - 2024) - a fundamental document to develop the relations between the two countries in new historical conditions after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In that context, the visit by the top Russian leader to Việt Nam is expected to set a new milestone and create a new momentum for the bilateral relations. During the visit, the two countries are expected to have agreements and take the next steps in the new period.

Besides the three aspects above, Phát said that President Putin's visit is also an opportunity to promote and highlight the traditional friendship, cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries that have been tested by time.

Phát said that the Việt Nam-Russia Friendship Association and Russia-Việt Nam Friendship Association have coordinated with other partners in Russia to implement creative, diverse and practical activities that attracted many people, especially younger generations.

The two associations organised seminars on the role of people-to-people diplomacy in the development of Việt Nam - Russia relations. They have also held the annual international children's painting contest "I draw Việt Nam - I draw Russia" which has created a playground for students from both countries to exchange and learn about each other's country and people. The associations have also coordinated with partners to implement language teaching programmes and popularise Russian and Vietnamese culture in each country. — VNS