|General Secretary of the Viet Nam Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam will continue its efforts to promote Russia's co-operation with ASEAN, Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Viet Nam Communist Party, said in an interview with the TASS Russia News Agency. Trong will pay official visits to Russia and Belarus from Novermber 23-28.
What are your expectations for the upcoming visit to the Russian Federation and what topics will you, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders discuss?
Viet Nam and Russia have enjoyed a long history of development, and the late President Ho Chi Minh laid down the foundation for that fine tradition. That friendship has also been fostered by many following generations of Vietnamese and Russian people.
The Vietnamese people have always been in debt to the Soviet people, including the Russian people, for their whole-hearted support to our past struggle for national salvation, as well as effective co-operation on national construction and defence. In recent years, the Viet Nam-Russian relationship has reached new levels.
During my visit, President Vladimir Putin, other Russian leaders and I will discuss and evaluate co-operation in the past few years, including agreements reached by Vietnamese and Russian senior government officials and major Viet Nam-Russia projects. We'll discuss measures to further promote the comprehensive co-operation between the two countries, on subjects including politics, trade, economics, investment, energy, oil and gas, nuclear power, national defence and others. We'll also discuss measures to elevate the co-operation between Vietnamese and Russian localities.
Other topics to be covered during the meetings include international and regional issues of mutual concern and co-ordination of actions between Russia and Viet Nam in the international arena, the situation for Vietnamese communities living in the Russian
Federation and the consolidation of diplomatic activities between Vietnamese and Russian people.
I'm confident that the visit will create a new impetus for the Viet Nam-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to contribute effectively to peace and prosperity in the region and the world.
How do you evaluate the role and effectiveness of the liaison mechanism and regular dialogue between leaders of the two countries for the consolidation of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Viet Nam and Russia?
Viet Nam's foreign policy is based on independence, self-reliance, peace, co-operation, diversification, multilateral efforts and international integration. We consider the Russian Federation one of our most important and reliable partners.
Following the establishment of the Viet Nam-Russia Strategic Partnership in 2001 and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2012, relations between the two countries have comprehensively developed. Both Viet Nam and Russia have agreed on the necessity of promoting contacts, exchanges and negotiations at all levels in bilateral and multi-lateral forums.
Regular dialogues between Vietnamese and Russian senior officials will help expand co-operation in important fields between the two nations, including security, national defence, trade and nuclear energy. Through these dialogues, the two countries' leaders will make important decisions on the effective implementation of important projects and co-operation for the interest of the Vietnamese and Russian peoples as well as for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific and throughout the world.
Viet Nam and Russia will celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations early next year. In your opinion, what are the most or least successful fields in the Viet Nam-Russia comprehensive co-operations up to now?
I have a high level of confidence in political relations between the two nations. It is followed by bilateral co-operation in economics and trade, energy, security and national defence, education and training, science and technology, and culture between the two nations have strongly developed and achieved considerable results.
|Vitebsk is now one of the most beautiful towns in Belarus. -- File Photo
Bilateral trade between the two countries in the 1990s of the 20th century was between US$300 and $400 million, yet it in 2013, it jumped to nearly $4 billion.
In the field of oil and gas, besides the very successful VietSovpetro, three new joint ventures have been established and operated successfully. They are the Rusvietpetro, Vietgazprom and Gazpromviet. Energy remains the traditional and future biggest area of co-operation for the two countries. Viet Nam is actively implementing the Ninh Thuan 1 Nuclear Power Project with support from the Russian Federation.
The two countries have also scored many positive results in expanding their co-operation in mineral extraction, metallurgy, education, science and space. The two sides have established a Senior Leadership Team for priority projects for further promotion of bilateral co-operation.
The two countries have frequently organised cultural exchange events, and widened their co-operation on tourism. At present, Russia is one of the 10 countries with the most visitors travelling to Viet Nam.
Though the Viet Nam-Russia relationship have strongly developed, it has not yet reached the potentials of the two countries. In the near future, the two sides should continue to take strong and synchronous actions in all fields, ranging from politics to economic co-operation.
As an ASEAN member and a close friend of Russia, what will Viet Nam do to help the Russian Federation expand its relations with ASEAN?
Viet Nam has done its best to help the Russian Federation become closer with ASEAN. In 1996 and 1997, Viet Nam was selected as the first ASEAN co-ordinator in ASEAN-Russia relations. In its capacity as an ASEAN co-ordinator, Viet Nam did all it could to promote the dialogue and co-operation between ASEAN and Russia in the late 20th century. Specifically, in 2010, as the ASEAN President, Viet Nam played host and co-chaired the 2nd ASEAN-Russia Summit Conference.
At that summit, the two sides reiterated their commitment to further tightening the comprehensive and progressive ASEAN-Russian partnership while consolidating the existing dialogue mechanisms bring their relationship to a higher level.
All ASEAN nations have unanimously supported Russia in joining all regional forums in which ASEAN will play a key role, including the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Defence Military Meetings.
As a result, Russia participated in the 5th East Asia Summit in 2010 in Viet Nam as a guest and became a full member in 2011.
At the recent 9th East Asia Summit last November 13th in Myanmar, ASEAN leaders gave a warm welcome to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Viet Nam has also worked closely with Russia and other ASEAN members to prepare for the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia dialogue.
In the future, Viet Nam, together with other ASEAN members, will do all it can to take the ASEAN-Russia relationship to a new level, in order to enhance each others' advantages and contribute to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific and the world.
Viet Nam will continue to work as a bridge between ASEAN and Russia, particularly on issues directly affecting the common interests of the two parties, including maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, including the East Sea.
Viet Nam will be pro-active together with other ASEAN members and Russia to identify weaknesses in the co-operation between the two sides so that they can find measures to build ASEAN-Russia relations. —VNS