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Vietnam, Russia forge closer strategic ties

Update: 06-09-2018 | 11:33:58

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong began an official visit to Russia on September 5 at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. It’s the first visit by a top Vietnamese leader to Russia since President Putin was re-elected in March, 2018.

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

The visit aims to deepen the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership and multifaceted cooperation.

Vietnam and Russia have enjoyed a fine relationship and are about to celebrate major events: the 25th anniversary in 2019 of the signing of a treaty on basic friendship principles and 70 years of diplomatic ties in 2020.

Long-term relationship

Vietnam’s relations with the Soviet Union and now Russia have always been close and trusting. The Soviet Union became one of the first countries to recognize and establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam in January, 1950.

After December, 1991, Vietnam and Russia continued building a multifaceted cooperation for mutual benefit. The Agreement of Basic Principles for Vietnam-Russia Friendship, signed on June 16, 1994, during Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet’s visit to Russia opened a new chapter in bilateral ties. Since they raised the relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012, political trust has been further strengthened.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said, “A high degree of trust, regular exchanges of high-level delegations, and close, effective cooperation have laid a firm foundation for sustainable and vibrant development of the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Economic, trade, and investment cooperation have progressed steadily, particularly after the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union came into effect in October, 2016.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a visit to Vietnam in March, 2018, “We’re pleased to see that last year’s bilateral trade turnover increased over 30%, thanks to the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia and Vietnam agree to boost trade and expand investment. The high level working team on investment will try to continue the encouraging results so far.”

Russia ranks 22nd among 117 countries and territories invested in Vietnam, with 116 valid projects totalling US$990 million. Major investors include Vietsovpetro and Vietgazprom. Russia invests mainly in petroleum, manufacturing, energy, mining, transport, and aquaculture. The number of Russian tourists visiting Vietnam increases 30% annually. Last year Vietnam welcomed nearly 600,000 Russian visitors.

Working together for the future

Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Russia demonstrates Vietnam’s external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation, development, multilateralization, diversification, and active integration to create favourable conditions for national defense and development.

During Mr. Trong’s visit to Russia, leaders of both countries will discuss ways to reinforce bilateral ties in all sectors as well as regional and global issues of mutual concern.  The Vietnamese-Russian relationship has been tested over time and nurtured by generations of leaders. The visit will create momentum to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership.


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