Russian Ambassador to Việt Nam K.V. Vnukov.
by Russian Ambassador to Việt Nam K. V. Vnukov
HÀ NỘI — Seventy years ago, on January 1, 1950, the Soviet Union became one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam, contributing to the country's international recognition. However, the two countries’ relations started long before, dating back to the first time the young patriot named Nguyễn Ái Quốc, who later became world-renowned as Hồ Chí Minh, set foot in the Soviet Union on his journey of researching Communist theory and the national liberation movement. The first bricks of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Việt Nam were laid during that time. People of the Soviet Union and later of Russia wholeheartedly supported Vietnamese people, both financially and mentally, during the Resistance War against America and post-war period. In those arduous days, important infrastructure was built and thousands of experts were trained in the USSR, many of them later held critical positions in the government.
A symbol of the closeness of historical fate between our two countries is the celebration of the most important events this year – 75 years of Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War (May 9) and 45 years of Việt Nam’s Reunification Day (April 30). We will never forget the feat of Vietnamese volunteers who fought in the battle on the outskirts of Moscow in 1941-42 and contribution of Russian military and civilian experts in Vietnamese people’s glorious victory in the spring of 1975 and the country’s economic restoration. It is an honour to us that the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng has accepted the invitation of the Russian President V.V. Putin to join other countries’ leaders in solemn activities to remember people who fell in the fight against fascism in Moscow this May.
In the new historic period in the early 1990s, the two countries did not only maintain the friendship and cross-assistance established by former generations but also strengthened and comprehensively accelerated them in many fields.
Việt Nam has been and will always be one of the priorities in Russia’s foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific. The basis of successful cooperation between Russia and Viet Nam in all key areas – from the humanities to the military – is a high level of political reliability, unaffected by local fluctuations.
The regular exchange of delegations, first and foremost at the highest levels, shows the constant interest of Russian and Vietnamese leaders in promoting bilateral relations. It is confirmed by the official visit of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation D. A. Medvedev to Việt Nam in November 2018 and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s visit to Russia in May 2019. During these events, essential topics of cooperation were carefully discussed on a constructive basis.
One of the most important sectors is economic-trade cooperation. Mostly thanks to the Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement which came into effect in October 2016, Russia-Việt Nam trade turnover in 2018 reached US$6 billion, a historical peak since 1991.
Oil-gas cooperation is one of the key pillars in the Russia-Việt Nam comprehensive strategic cooperation with the joint venture Vietsovpetro as a vanguard for decades. SK Rusvietpetro limited liability company in the Nenets Autonomous Region of the Russian Federation, Gazprom and Company NK Rosneft Joint Stock in Việt Nam are also operating effectively. Russia is considering implementing projects in new high-tech sectors for Việt Nam, especially gas power generation, production of engine gas fuel and construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal.
We attach great importance to the major projects including Long Phú 1 Thermal Power Plant, the Center for Nuclear Science and Technology, Russian car assembly project in Việt Nam and the establishment of agro-industrial complexes of the Vietnamese TH Group in Russia.
Under the framework of cultural exchange, Vietnamese cultural days in Russia and Moscow days in Hà Nội and other art activities have been held recently. The quota of Vietnamese students in Russia’s universities has risen to nearly 1,000. The number of Russian tourists to Việt Nam in 2019 surpassed 645,000. Vietnamese people, conversely, increasingly travel to Russia.
Russia has maintained close coordination with Việt Nam in the international arena; it is critical in the context that Việt Nam becomes a UNSC non-permanent member from 2020 to 2021 and ASEAN Chair in 2020.
The best gift to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2020 will be the successful organisation of a series of bilateral communication activities during the first bilateral Cross Years in history among ministries, industries, regions and companies of the two countries, as well as the closing ceremony with the participation of senior leaders from Russia and Việt Nam.
On this occasion, I would like to send best wishes to Việt Nam News readers. We wish you happiness, good health and prosperity in the Lunar New Year and expect to see the development in Russia-Việt Nam partnerships. The Russian Embassy is always ready to provide comprehensive support for these efforts. — VNS