|President Truong Tan Sang (right) receives Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov as part of his visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam attaches special importance to developing a comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia.
This was stated by President Truong Tan Sang, while receiving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Ha Noi yesterday. Noting, with pleasure, the developing bilateral ties in all aspects between the two countries, the president urged that the Russian Foreign Ministry and relevant ministries and agencies of both countries actively implement the agreements reached and undertake key projects such as the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant, the expansion of the Dung Quat Oil Refinery and oil and gas projects on Vietnamese and Russian territories.
The two sides should increase co-operation in security and defence, science and technology, education and training and tourism. They should also join hands in organising activities to celebrate important milestones in bilateral relations, especially the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (January 1950-2015), he said.
President Sang also applauded the outcome of the past rounds of negotiation on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, expressing hope that the process would be finalised this year.
He said he believed that the Viet Nam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership would continuously develop in the interest of the two peoples as well as for peace and stability in the regions and the world at large.
For his part, Lavrov affirmed that Russia would work closely with Viet Nam to implement signed agreements in order to further the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with the Russian foreign minister, during which the two agreed that the comprehensive strategic partnership had been developing positively and bringing about practical benefits.
Minh noted that in terms of politics and diplomacy the two countries had maintained regular mutual consultation and exchange of visits.
The bilateral trade between both countries stood at nearly US$4 billion in 2013, while important results had been achieved in energy co-operation, he said, adding that progress had also been made in other fields like national defence and security, culture, education and tourism.
Both sides deliberated on measures to expand bilateral co-operation, especially in economy, trade, culture and education. They also discussed ways to boost ties in the field of science and technology as well as step up co-ordination in the international arena.
They also discussed the implementation of key projects, including the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant and the construction of a centre for nuclear science and technology in Viet Nam as well as measures to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese people to work effectively and legally in Russia.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides shared the view on the need to solve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) while pushing for the building of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
Talking about the regional and international situation, Minh expressed his belief that Russia would continue to promote its role in enhancing co-operation in Asia-Pacific, especially at multi-lateral forums coordinated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), such as East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
Minh called for practical, transparent and responsible engagement of the big countries in the region because that would benefit all, including Russia and Viet Nam.
Viet Nam and Russia would celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2015, Minh said, adding that the bilateral relations have been built and nurtured with mutual trust and cooperation.
For his part, Lavrov highly valued the expansion of the bilateral ties, thanks to the efforts of both countries.
He believed that the two-way trade would continue to increase after Viet Nam and the Customs Alliance of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign the free trade agreement.
He also said Russia advocated an active role for Viet Nam in the ASEAN and the ASEAN's central role in the regional architecture.
On the occasion, the two foreign ministers signed a co-operation plan for 2015-16. — VNS