Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 29 (local time) arrived at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, beginning a four-day visit to Russia, a country with which Vietnam has a 71-year relationship.
|Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife arrive at Vnukovo International Airport on Nov 29. Photos: VNA|
The visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin is to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and affirm the “special and loyal” bilateral ties as both countries stand by each other’s side in the wartime and the different stages of development.
The visit takes place in the context that Vietnam and Russia celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership (2021) and prepare for the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (2022).
As scheduled, Phuc will hold talks with leaders of the State, the State Duma – the federal assembly of the Russian Federation, and the Security Council – a constitutional body of the Russian president.
He will attend the meeting of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship organizations, the Vietnam-Russia Business Conference, and visit a number of Russian companies.
|Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will take the four-day visit in Russia.|
Fields of cooperation
Vietnam’s wish to tighten its traditional relations and efforts to boost multilateralism that is stated in its diplomacy for the next five years, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi while briefing some contents of the visit.
The visit attests to the special Vietnam-Russia relationship that nothing could harm it and is aimed at seeking more cooperation in the pandemic fight. Both Vietnam and Russia are developing Covid-19 vaccines and drugs. Russia has transferred technology on producing Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for Vietnam.
Besides energy, oil and gas, defense, and security that are listed in the long-standing cooperation, the two countries are joining hands in tourism, education, hi-tech, scientific research, and key development projects. Russia is one of the largest clients of Vietnamese tourism, sending nearly one million visitors per year to the country.
Regarding economic ties, Vietnam and Russia continued enjoying the growing trade. In 2020, the two-way trade reached US$5.7 billion, up 15% on-year. In the first three quarters this year, the value reached $4.7 billion, up 16% from the same period last year.
According to Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Gennady Bezdetko, Vietnam is Russia’s largest trading partner in ASEAN. Since the enforcement of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) in 2016, trade has led to a rapid growth rate between Vietnam and the EAEU and the two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia.
Vietnam was the first nation that entered into a free trade agreement with the EAEU. According to the tariff schedule, average Vietnamese duties on EAEU products will drop from 10% to 1%, while EAEU’s average will reduce from 9.7% to 2% by 2025.
|Vietnamese people welcome President Phuc at the airport.|
The Vietnamese ambassador said the bilateral ties though was established 71 years ago, date back much longer. In 2023, Vietnam will commemorate the 100th year since late President Ho Chi Minh set foot in Russia.
It can be said that Russia is a training hub for generations of Vietnamese people. Dozens of thousands of Vietnamese students were trained there and many of them are now high-ranking officials.
Despite Covid-19, the two countries have maintained dialogues and high-ranking exchange visits, including phone talks between Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and Russian President Vladimir Putin in April 2021, between Trong and Chairperson of ruling party United Russia Dmitry Medvedev in February 2021; phone talks between Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vladimir Putin in September 2021; between Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue and Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko in June 2021; in the same month, a phone talk was held for Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang and Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu.
Notably, in September Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son visited Russia to work with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, the government, and the State Duma. In September 2021, Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang met Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Yurievich Krivoruchko in Hanoi. Earlier in March 2021, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev worked with the Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, To Lam, in Hanoi.