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Party chief’s visit to tighten Việt Nam’s strategic relations with Russia

Update: September, 05/2018 - 09:00
General Secretary Trọng affirmed that Russia was an important traditional partner of Việt Nam. — VNA Photo Trí Dũng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — During a visit to Russia from September 5 to 8, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders will discuss measures to promote the two countries’ relations.

The Party leader revealed his plans for the trip during an interview with Russian news agency TASS ahead of the visit.

He said the visit would be made amidst developing bilateral relations and on the threshold of the 25th anniversary of the signing of a treaty on basic principles for Việt Nam-Russia friendship in 2019 and 70 years of diplomatic ties in 2020.

It aimed to intensify the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership, connectivity and cooperation in all spheres, he noted, voicing his belief that the visit would create new momentum for this partnership and improve bilateral cooperation for the sake of the two peoples and for peace, stability and development in Asia-Pacific.

Reviewing the countries’ ties, General Secretary Trọng affirmed that Russia was an important traditional partner of Việt Nam. Their people had supported each other over the past seven decades. The Vietnamese people never forget the assistance, both materially and spiritually, that the people of the former Soviet Union and Russia had offered during the fight for national independence and development.

Russia was also home to one of the largest Vietnamese expat communities in the world, while the Southeast Asian nation had become an attractive destination for Russian tourists. These were crucial factors helping to enhance the friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples, he added.

The leader told TASS that Việt Nam respected and prioritised reinforcing its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia. Since this partnership was formed in 2012, political relations had strengthened. The two sides had maintained exchange mechanisms while economic-trade, investment and security-defence ties had solidified.

The partnership between Việt Nam and Russia was developing in a substantive and sustainable fashion, he said.

However, he also pointed out that bilateral economic-trade connections remained modest. Since the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement took effect in October 2016, the two countries’ trade had grown by some 30 per cent to US$3.5 billion in 2017, which was still low and not on par with their sound political ties, potential and expectations.

“We want this field to develop strongly and soon become a true pillar of the two countries’ relations in the time ahead,” General Secretary Trọng noted.

Regarding energy cooperation, he said there remained much room for them to boost ties in this area, adding that Việt Nam always welcomed and created the best conditions for Russian firms to modernise power plants built with the help of the Soviet Union and take part in new energy projects.

Meanwhile, collaboration in the oil and gas industry had increased and was a strategic and long-term cooperation field in terms of both politics and the economy.

The leader said an important direction for energy ties was using atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The countries agreed to build a centre for nuclear science and technology in Việt Nam. It was a critical project for both sides, aiming to develop nuclear science and technology, train high-quality staff and step up the application of atomic energy in economic, social, scientific and technological areas.

In the interview, the Party chief also said bilateral cooperation in defence-security and military exercises had expanded, showing the countries’ mutual trust.

He noted: “I highly value the very effective and dynamic cooperation between the two countries, especially in such cooperation fields as personnel training, United Nations peacekeeping, navy, military medicine, military exercises, defence industry… In the coming time, cooperation in defence-security between the two countries will continue to play an important role in the overall comprehensive strategic partnership.”  — VNS


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