|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. — Photo VNA
HA NOI (VNS) — Russia has played a significant role in Viet Nam's war victory as well as its post-war reform success, says Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
In an article penned to mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries (January 30, 1950-2015), he noted that the Soviet Union was one of the first countries to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with Viet Nam.
The event marked a milestone in bilateral ties and laid the foundation for a flourishing friendship between the two countries, he said.
The article, titled "Viet Nam-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: 65-year Path," gives an overall perspective on the history and current status of Viet Nam-Russia ties, and highlights potential opportunities for future co-operation.
The effective political, economic and military support that the Soviet Union provided Viet Nam during its struggle for independence, freedom and reunification played a significant role in the nation's final victory in the spring of 1975, Minh said.
Furthermore, tens of thousands of Vietnamese officials and experts have been trained in Russia, becoming an integral force for Viet Nam's "doi moi" (reform) process.
The Soviet Union's assistance has also contributed to boosting the development of various sectors in Viet Nam , especially energy, industry, agriculture, and science and technology.
Since Viet Nam and Russia established a Strategic Partnership in 2011 and elevated it to a Comprehensive Partnership in 2012, their co-operation has yielded more fruitful outcomes.
The Deputy PM said a high degree of trust and diverse forms of affiliation are highlights of relations between Viet Nam and Russia.
Both sides have an annual high-level meeting mechanism and enjoy close co-ordination at international forums, especially at the United Nations and other international organisations with ASEAN playing a central role, Minh noted.
Economic collaboration has also been growing on the four key pillars of trade, investment, oil and gas and electricity, he said.
Bilateral trade surged to nearly US$3 billion in 2014 from just $500 million in 2001, he said, adding that negotiations for a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus have been completed.
Rising oil and gas affiliations have also fuelled both economies, and a new milestone reached in nuclear power collaboration.
The Deputy PM also underlined the importance of bilateral defence-security and military technology co-operation between Viet Nam and Russia.
He said promoting the traditional ties of friendship and mutual support between the two countries will contribute to peace, stability and progress in the region and the world.
‘Mutually beneficial success'
Minh's counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also wrote an article highlighting the "glorious" 65-year diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
He reviewed important benchmarks of the time-honoured relationship, including the establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership during the first visit to Viet Nam by President Vladimir Putin in March 2001, and the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Truong Tan Sang's visit to Russia in July 2012.
Lavrov noted that trade between the two sides was rapidly expanding and set to exceed $10 billion in 2020.
He said Russia considers co-operation with the Asia-Pacific region a strategic priority that it seeks to fortify through co-ordination with Viet Nam.
He also expressed the belief that through joint efforts, the two countries will achieve mutually-beneficial successes that contribute to peace, stability and sustainable development in the region. — VNS