Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov highlights sound friendship with Vietnam

Update: 10:42 | 31/01/2020
Article by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov titled "Russia and Vietnam: Friendship has been through for decades" highlighted the sound diplomatic relations between Russia and Vietnam has published on January 29 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries (1950- 2020). The following is the full article.  
russian foreign minister sergei lavrov highlights sound friendship with vietnam Leaders of Vietnam, Russia exchange congratulations on diplomatic ties
russian foreign minister sergei lavrov highlights sound friendship with vietnam Russia, Vietnam enjoy close friendship for decades
russian foreign minister sergei lavrov highlights sound friendship with vietnam
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry)

The year of 2020 holds many anniversaries in the history of Russian-Vietnamese ties. One of the most important is the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. On January 30, 1950 the Soviet Union was one of the first countries to recognise the young Vietnamese state, laying the foundation for long term friendship and close cooperation between our two countries.

We were together during the difficult years of Vietnam’s fight for freedom and independence, repelling a foreign aggression and pursuing postwar peaceful development. Cooperation between Moscow and Ha Noi has stood the test of time. It has become stronger and acquired a versatile and truly special character.

It is gratifying that the traditions of solidarity and mutual aid, which were established by the previous generations, are being preserved and augmented under new historical conditions. The interstate Treaty on the Foundations of Friendly Relations signed on June 16, 1994 remains a reliable foundation for this. We marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of this major document in 2019. Our cooperation acquired a strategic character in 2001 and became a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012. Now it continues to be vigorously developed on a broad range of issues for the benefit of the peoples of Russia and Vietnam.

We maintain a consistent and meaningful dialogue that is distinguished by a high degree of openness and mutual trust. General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong visited Russia in September 2018. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin went to Vietnam in November and December of the same year. Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc came to Russia in May 2019, and Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan visited in December of the same year. These close contacts are an important factor in developing Russian-Vietnamese relations and allow the two countries to compare positions on bilateral and international issues, which is instrumental in the constantly difficult situation in the region and the world as a whole.

Our dialogue on defence and security is traditionally close and trustworthy. Exchanges of delegations from political parties and public organisations are becoming more intense.

We are pleased to note the dynamic development of economic ties both in traditional areas (power engineering, industrial production, transport and agriculture) and new, advanced sectors (the digital economy, e-government, smart city technology and ICT security).

Trade is growing. Symbolically, Vietnam became the first country with which the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) signed a free trade agreement in May 2015. The implementation of its provisions and a package of bilateral agreements allowed the two countries to increase trade to $6.1 billion by 2018. This is a record figure for the entire post-Soviet period.

Energy cooperation is a major element in Russian-Vietnamese comprehensive strategic partnership. The flagship of our cooperation – the Vietsovpetro joint venture – has been successfully operating for almost four decades. In cooperation with Petrovietnam Oil and Gas Corporation, the leading Russian companies Gazprom, Rosneft, NOVATEK and Zarubezhneft are carrying out projects on the exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources both in Russia and in Vietnam and diversifying their cooperation on the basis of the latest scientific and technical achievements.

Bilateral cooperation is becoming increasingly innovative and science intensive. The project on building a centre for nuclear science and technology in Vietnam with the assistance of Rosatom Corporation is a graphic example of this. The centre will become a leading research institution in Southeast Asia. I am convinced that the training of Vietnamese nuclear engineers in Russia will guarantee its future success.

Both countries are proud of the joint Russia-Vietnam Tropical Science and Technology Research Centre as there is no such facility anywhere else in the world. Today, the centre is conducting large-scale research in environmental protection, tropical medicine and materials engineering for Russian and Vietnamese agencies and companies.

According to the agreements reached at the top level, the Year of Russia in Vietnam and the Year of Vietnam in Russia are being held in 2019 and 2020 for the first time in the history of bilateral relations. The programmes include over a hundred events that are designed to promote cooperation in the trade, economic, military, military-technical, scientific, technological and humanitarian areas. They will also enhance cooperation between the regions in the two states.

The Russian audience was impressed by the opening ceremony of the cross years, which took place on May 22, 2019 in the Moscow Zaryadye Concert Hall in the presence of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Education is a traditional area for bilateral cooperation. Vietnam continues to send the highest number of citizens to Russia for an education. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese professionals have received educations in various disciplines at Russian colleges and universities. Many of them occupy high government positions, are the backbone of the officers’ corps and work at large companies and at research and cultural institutions. This academic year, students from Vietnam have been awarded 965 state grants. This is one of the highest quotas for foreign students and postgraduates.

We welcome the growth of Vietnam's popularity as a destination for Russian tourists. Last year Vietnam was visited by about 600,000 Russians. The number of Vietnamese tourists in Russia is increasing as well. Youth exchanges are making rapid headway. In the past year and a half the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union have organised three youth forums.

I would like to make a special mention of our cooperation on the world arena. When it comes to major global and regional issues, our views on the whole coincide. We and our Vietnamese friends are firmly committed to the creation of a more just and democratic multipolar world arrangement that is based on international law, primarily on the key provisions of the UN Charter. Additional opportunities for consolidating foreign policy coordination are opened up by Vietnam’s election as one of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2020−2021 and its Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020.

In 70 years of diplomatic relations, Russia and Vietnam have amassed considerable creative experience of cooperation in different areas. This can and should be used for enhancing bilateral ties. Importantly, our peoples have carried feelings of friendship and sincere mutual empathy through the decades, and nothing can change this. It is necessary to maintain this unique heritage and pass it on to the younger generation. They are destined to pick up the baton in the effort to continue expanding and deepening the comprehensive Russian-Vietnamese strategic partnership.

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