|Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (left) meets Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko in Moscow on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
MOSCOW — Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân held talks with Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko in Moscow on Tuesday.
NA Chairman Ngân said Việt Nam always treasures the relations with Russia which is of primary importance to its foreign policy.
Việt Nam wants to foster a deeper, more effective and comprehensive cooperation with Russia to bring benefits to both sides, she said.
She was delighted to talk about the two countries’ cooperation in economics, trade and investment which has seen progress since the Việt Nam-EAEU Free Trade Agreement went into force in October, 2016. Last year, the Việt Nam-Russia trade surged 30 per cent from a year earlier to US$4.5 billion. In the first three quarter of 2019, the two-way trade reached $3.4 billion.
However, there is plenty of room for expansion, she said.
She suggested the two parliaments urge competent authorities of both countries to provide broader market access to each other’s agricultural and fishery products alongside other export items.
Ngân also spoke highly of the two nations’ partnership in energy, of which oil and gas is the main pillar, while saying she is pleased to see cooperation in defence, security and military technology, education and training, science and technology, culture, and tourism between the two sides flourishing.
The two leaders shared delight at the boom in tourism cooperation in recent years with a record number of Russian tourists visiting Việt Nam last year which exceeded 600,000, making Russia Việt Nam’s largest source of foreign visitors.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese visitors to Russia are estimated to grow by 20 per cent to about 54,000 this year.
Ngân later used the occasion to thank Russia for supporting the Vietnamese community living there and asked her host to facilitate issuing visas for Vietnamese citizens and fishermen to Russia while the two countries are negotiating a travel agreement.
The Vietnamese top legislator praised the mutual support and close coordination between legislative bodies on the international arena, as well as their active participation in multilateral forums.
As Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41), the Vietnamese NA will work to promote the ASEAN-Russia strategic partnership, she said.
She used the occasion to invite Matviyenko and other deputies of the Russian Federation Council to visit Việt Nam and attend the AIPA 41 slated for late August and early September 2020 in Hạ Long City, the northern province of Quảng Ninh.
Ngân noted with pleasure the continuously enhanced collaboration between Vietnamese and Russian localities such as Hà Nội-Moscow, HCM City-Saint Petersburg, Bình Thuận-Kaluga, Hà Tĩnh-Tula, and Nam Định-Krasnodar.
She suggested Matviyenko support the Republic of Tatarstan to set up twinning relationship with Việt Nam’s Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang, and urged the Russian Federation Council to continue working as a bridge connecting localities of the two countries.
Regarding the East Sea issue, she stressed Việt Nam highly appreciates Russia’s stance on supporting the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, firstly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), contributing to maintaining peace, stability, freedom, safety and security of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and backing the full and serious implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards the early completion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Matviyenko highlighted the role of Vietnamese and Russian friendship parliamentarians’ groups, and called on the groups to sign more biennial cooperation agreements and join hands in supervising the realisation of inked deals.
The Russian Federation Council hopes for more exchanges of young parliamentarians and effective coordination between the two legislative bodies at regional and international parliamentary forums in the time ahead, she said.
Matviyenko also proposed organising the first meeting between the committees for external affairs of the two legislatures.
She invited NA Chairwoman Ngân to attend the third Eurasian Women’s Forum scheduled for 2021 in Russia.
Talking about partnerships between localities, Matviyenko introduced the Siberia region – the centre of Russia, saying the country aims to attract foreign investors in the region.
She said as Việt Nam and Russia are negotiating an inter-governmental agreement on organised recruitment of Vietnamese citizens to work in Russia, and appealed to the two legislatures to provide legal assistance during the signing, ratification and enforcement of the document. — VNS