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Vietnam backs Russia’s “Turn to the East” Policy: Party chief
Ngoc Mai 21:58, 2024/06/20
Russia's Turn to the East Policy, initiated over a decade ago, focuses on strengthening ties with Asian partners, recognizing the 21st century as the "century of Asia."

Vietnam supports Russia's “Turn to the East” policy and values its traditional ties with Moscow, stressed General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin today [June 20].

 Overview of the meeting between Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photos: Nhat Bac

At the meeting, Trong reaffirmed that Vietnam has always appreciated the support and assistance of the Soviet Union, including Russia in the past and the Russian Federation today, in the struggle for independence, national reunification, and in the subsequent cause of nation-building and defense.

He stated that Vietnam considers its traditional relations and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Russia a top priority in its foreign policy.

Russia's Turn to the East policy, initiated over a decade ago, focuses on strengthening ties with Asian partners, recognizing the 21st century as the "century of Asia."

Trong emphasized that the rapidly changing and complex global situation is moving towards a multipolar and multicentric order, requiring nations to pursue peaceful, equal, non-confrontational, and cooperative development policies, in adherence to the United Nations Charter and international law.

The international community needs to strengthen dialogue and bilateral and multilateral cooperation, with the United Nations at the center, to work together for socio-economic development and address traditional and non-traditional security challenges, he noted.

He said that Vietnam hopes that President Putin and Russia will continue to support maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and air traffic, protecting Vietnam's legitimate rights and interests, and resolving disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful means, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and reaching an early agreement on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Turning to the situation in Ukraine, Trong expressed Vietnam's desire for an early dialogue, cessation of hostilities, and resumption of negotiations to find a peaceful settlement based on international law that safeguards the legitimate interests of all parties involved. Vietnam is ready to make a positive contribution to promoting dialogue and negotiations in this direction, he noted.

He reaffirmed Vietnam's consistent "four no's" defense policy and its independent, self-reliant, diversified, and multilateral foreign policy, which includes strengthening relations with neighboring countries and deepening bilateral cooperation with partners.

President Putin emphasized that developing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Vietnam is a priority in Russia's foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. He believes this visit will give a new impetus to the relations between the two countries.

Putin asserted that international and regional issues should be dealt with based on international law and the United Nations Charter, and disputes should be resolved peacefully. He supported a peaceful settlement of the East Sea issue based on international law.

Both leaders agreed on cooperation directions proposed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.  The two countries will continue to enhance mutual understanding and trust, develop economic, trade, investment, scientific, and technological cooperation, and strengthen defense and security collaboration while addressing existing challenges in accordance with international law and each country's specific conditions.

In the energy and oil sectors, both sides agreed to facilitate the effective implementation of current projects and to expand investment projects involving national oil companies in both countries.

The two countries also agreed to boost cooperation in other key areas such as agriculture, education and training, culture, tourism, people-to-people exchanges, and local cooperation. Both leaders praised the significant contributions of the Vietnamese community in Russia as an important bridge in the bilateral relations.

Trong urged Russia to continue to create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Russia to work and live in a stable and long-term manner, thus contributing to strengthening traditional friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

President Putin's visit to Vietnam is seen as symbolic, marking the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Fundamental Principles of Friendship between Vietnam and Russia. On this occasion, Vietnam and Russia issued a Joint Declaration on deepening their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Pushing for symbolic projects

At a meeting between Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the same day, both sides agreed to enhance the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic-Trade and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.

Both sides aimed to finalize and implement soon the Comprehensive Cooperation Development Plan until 2030 and the list of priority tasks for 2024-2025. Financial and credit cooperation would be strengthened in line with international and national laws to facilitate trade and investment.

Prime Minister Chinh emphasized the importance of maximizing the benefits of the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement and requested Russia to remove trade barriers, particularly to boost Vietnam's exports of consumer goods and agricultural products to Russia. He also called for increasing the rice export quota for Vietnam and supporting the export of Russian agricultural products to Vietnam.

In the area of investment, both sides supported the early implementation of major Russian infrastructure projects in Vietnam, such as railways, urban rail, subways, and renewable energy. The two leaders also aimed to create favorable conditions for businesses from both countries to expand and enhance their investment and business activities. The Prime Minister underscored the importance of cooperation in the oil and gas sector and urged both sides to speedily address challenges to improve the efficiency of oil and gas exploration and extraction projects.

Vietnam has pledged to facilitate the operations of the Vietsovpetro joint venture and other Russian oil companies like Zarubezhneft and Gazprom in Vietnam, Chinh said.

In addition, both sides supported expanding cooperation into new energy fields, such as LNG and offshore wind power, which contribute to sustainable development goals.

The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in science and technology, information and communications, culture, sports, tourism, and labor.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh proposed early negotiation and implementation of agreements on transportation, maritime trade, aviation connectivity,  travel conditions for citizens, and skilled labor recruitment, as well as enhancing people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation. They were also in favor of encouraging the teaching of Vietnamese and Russian languages and cultural exchanges.

The Prime Minister sought Russia's assistance in training Vietnamese athletes in sports in which Russia excels, such as gymnastics and chess. The two sides would soon start negotiations and sign new agreements on labor and vocational training, a traditional cooperation area.

The leaders acknowledged the positive contributions of their citizens living, working, and studying in each other's countries to strengthen traditional friendship and cooperation. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on the  Russian authorities to continue supporting the Vietnamese community in Russia and ensure their stable and legal living and working conditions.

They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, agreeing to continue close coordination in multilateral forums, including the United Nations, ASEAN, and APEC.

President Putin appreciated Vietnam's objective and balanced stance on the Ukraine issue. Chinh reiterated  Vietnam's support for settling disputes and differences through peaceful means, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, taking into account the legitimate interests of all parties concerned, for peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.

Vietnam expressed its willingness to participate in international efforts involving relevant parties to seek a peaceful and sustainable solution to the Ukraine issue.

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