Russia relations a top priority for VN: President

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 10:46

President Tran Dai Quang (right) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sang

President Tran Dai Quang and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed particular interest in strengthening commercial co-operation, agreeing on investing more than US$10 billion in either country.

At a joint press conference following talks between the two leaders in Moscow, the two leaders announced that the investment would be poured into 20 priority projects, including a joint Vietnamese-Russian oil and gas enterprise, the construction of a light industrial zone in Moscow and projects carried out by Vietnamese dairy group TH in some Russian localities.

Another $500 million would be spent on projects with high potentials in new areas of bilateral co-operation like agriculture or medicinal herbs, the leaders said.

The two countries have also set an ambitious target of bilateral trade reaching $10 billion by 2020.

Oil and gas will remain the top priority sector for co-operation between the two countries, Putin said.

Vietsovpetro, a Viet Nam-Russia joint venture, accounts for a third of the crude oil extracted in Viet Nam.

Putin said Russia was committed to providing Viet Nam with cooking gas, petrol and other fuels. He also said Russian enterprises were more than ready to lend a hand in modernising Viet Nam’s power plants and and help the country build new power plants.

The two leaders also agreed to co-ordinate closely with each other in implementing the Viet Nam-Eurasia Economic Union (VN-EAEU) Free Trade Agreement in order to fully exploit its advantages for further co-operation in trade and investment.

The FTA, involving Viet Nam, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, was signed in May 2015 and took effect on October 5 last year.

Viet Nam and Russia are committed to creating favourable conditions for enterprises to step up trading, including signing agreements on food safety management and promoting payment in Vietnamese dong and the Russian rouble, the leaders said.

Joint ventures to assemble and produce cars in Viet Nam will soon be set up and co-operation stepped up in energy and infrastructure. The leaders said they will also consider the potential for continuing co-operation in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

On the East Sea (South China Sea) dispute, Quang and Putin agreed that any border or territorial dispute should be resolved by peaceful means without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with international laws including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

They agreed the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea (DOC) should be implemented fully and effectively, and hoped that the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) will soon be completed.

President Putin affirmed that Viet Nam would always be a priority partner for Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. He said he believed that Quang’s visit will provide fresh impetus to the development of the bilateral ties in the coming time.

Quang reiterated that Viet Nam has consistently prioritised strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia in order to promote further bilateral co-operation in all fields.

The two leaders later witnessed the signing ceremonies for several co-operation projects including the building of a nuclear technology and science centre in Viet Nam between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Russian Rosatom Group, a co-operation agreement on anti-money laundering between the State Bank of Viet Nam and the Financial Market Relations Regulation Centre, and another between the Vietnam News Agency and the Sputnik.

A memorandum on technical co-operation between the two State treasuries was also signed in the presence of the presidents.

A 2017-22 co-operation programme in aerospace technology between the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology and the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and an agreement between the Viet Nam Railways Corporation and the Russian Railways Open Joint Stock Company were also signed yesterday.

Consistent priority

Viet Nam treasures its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and consistently prioritises the development of bilateral relations to make it more sustainable and effective, President Tran Dai Quang said yesterday.

Meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow as part of his ongoing four-day official visit to Russia, the President said that Viet Nam sees Russia as one of its top important and reliable partners.

He highlighted the strong political ties between the two countries as well as co-ordination between the Viet Nam Communist Party and the United Russia Party led by PM Medvedev.

Quang said he was delighted at visiting Russia for the first time since he took office in 2016.

President Quang and PM Medvedev expressed their “high determination” to lift the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to new heights. They also agreed on measures to promote and deepen bilateral ties.

He thanked Russia for supporting the Vietnamese community in Russia, and pledged Viet Nam’s assistance in the organisation of the Russian Culture Days in Viet Nam this year.

For his part, the Russian PM expressed his fond sentiments for Viet Nam, and recalled memories of earlier visits to the country.

Medvedev noted that bilateral ties have grown in all fields, especially economy and trade, and said he hoped both governments will continue their focus on bolstering trade and investment ties. He suggested that the two sides actively seek more co-operation projects.

The leaders expressed pleasures at the close co-ordination between Viet Nam and Russia at multilateral forums, including the APEC.

Medvedev said Russia was willing to work with Viet Nam in successfully organising APEC Year 2017.

Parliamentary relations

President Tran Dai Quang on late Wednesday also met with Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko.

The Vietnamese leader lauded the outcomes of the Speaker’s visit to Viet Nam in February 2017, especially the organisation of a seminar on local collaboration.

President Quang expressed hope that the Federation Council will support Russian localities to tighten ties with Vietnamese provinces and cities.

He also hoped that Speaker Matviyenko will contribute to enhancing relations between the Federation Council and the Vietnamese National Assembly as well as between Russia and Viet Nam.

Speaker Matviyenko said the President’s visit to Russia is of significance to bilateral relations as its outcomes will drive Russia-Viet Nam co-operation in all fields.

She affirmed the relationship between the two legislatures plays an important role in Russia-Viet Nam ties, and praised the two bodies’ regular organisation of meetings and dialogues as well as their close co-ordination at international inter-parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed to work together to raise two-way trade to US$10 billion by 2020, and pledged to strengthen co-operation in energy, defence-security, education-training, culture, tourism and science-technology.

They also agreed to maintain close co-ordination at multilateral forums, especially during the Viet Nam-hosted APEC Year 2017. — VNS

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