Russian President’s views on bilateral ties
VGP – Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that he would like to share his views on the development of the relations between Viet Nam and Russia during his upcoming official visit to Viet Nam, in an article ahead of the visit.
The following is translation of his article for reference
The friendship between the two countries has sailed through challenges arising from sorrowful events of the 20th century as well as gigantic changes in the world and in the two countries. However, one thing would never change – that is the relationship of mutual respect, the tradition of mutual trust and assistance. It is the consideration for impartial assistance of partners without betrayal.
For this, I would like to cite the following well-known saying of President Ho Chi Minh: “To be grateful to one’s benefactor.” I consider these words as the spiritual mandate to the current and future generations of our countries. It should be engraved on our hearts the joint historical pages, things that have identified us with each other. That ensures the inheritability and sustainability for the bilateral relations to move ahead.
We are honestly happy with the great achievements gained by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam during its course of socio-economic innovation. Russia is also actively carrying out large-scale tasks. We view the active participation in integration process – both at global and regional levels, brings back a huge and powerful force. We attach importance to cooperation with countries in Asia-Pacific region where Viet Nam is emerging as one of the leading growth engines, and that is of significant importance.
Our countries are interconnected thanks to stances that are almost similar on issues of the global agenda. We are working together to find ways to cope with new threats and challenges. We protect the law-abiding spirit in international affairs, protect the irreplaceability of political-diplomatic tools in settling disputes, and protect the rights of any nation in making its own development course.
All such things are guaranteeing the height of the Viet Nam-Russia strategic partnership which we have enough footing to call it the comprehensive strategic partnership. In the past year, the two-way trade rose 20% to US$3.66 billion. Both sides set the target to raise the figure to US$7 billion by 2015 and US$10 billion by 2020.
The signing of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the Customs Alliance and Viet Nam would directly help achieve the trade goals, which is in accordance with the logic of political and economic connectivity between Asia and Europe and in Asia-Pacific region. The talk process to formulate a free trade area is underway and we believe that the process will be completed successfully.
Energy and petroleum have long been taking the crucial role in the development of the cooperative ties between Viet Nam and Russia. Here, the spearhead is the Joint Venture Vietsopetro which has accumulated unique experiences in terms of exploitation technologies in the continental shelf. The joint venture’s oil exploitation output reached 206 million tons, yielding total profit of tens of billions of dollars.
Gazprom and Rosneft are increasing their presence in Viet Nam. The two giants are implementing projects on oil exploration, modernization of petrochemical establishments, and liquefied natural gas supply from Russian Far East to Viet Nam.
Particularly, I would like to stress that oil cooperation is carried out on the basis of reciprocal support and give and take. Currently, Rusvietpetro (joint venture between Zarubezhneft and Petrovietnam) is operating well in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous District. Another joint venture, Gazpromviet, is also operating promisingly in Orenburg and other localities in Russia.
Our energy cooperation is not limited to oil exploitation. Russia is assisting Viet Nam in developing a totally fresh industry - that is nuclear industry. Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom) will build the first nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan province. As scheduled, the two turbines of the plant will come into operation by 2023 and 2024, respectively. The two sides are discussing a project on building a Nuclear Science and Technology Center.
Another very potential area is space cooperation for peaceful purposes and use of Russia's Glonass satellite navigation system, cooperation in railway and aviation transport development, manufacturing, mineral exploitation, finance-banking, and healthcare. All these initiatives and plans aim to expand the bilateral industrial, technological and investment cooperation.
Real progress has also been made in military-technical cooperation. We do not just mention batches of exports – now Viet Nam is organizing the licensed production of advanced military equipment with the participation of Russian companies.
We always have the right to be proud of the tradition of humanitarian cooperation – in culture, science and education. In this field, Russia granted the highest quota for training in Russian educational establishments (except for SNG countries). At present, nearly 5,000 Vietnamese nationals are studying in Russia, including nearly 2,000 students receiving State funding.
It can’t help talking about cooperative activities between scientists of our two countries, including the perennial operations of the Viet Nam-Russia Tropical Scientific Research and Technological Center. The outcomes of the center’s scientific research projects have been highly valued by experts across the world.
My visit coincides with the Russian Culture Days in Viet Nam. I am very excited to see that Vietnamese are sincerely interested in the arts of our country. For our part, Russian people are also expecting to welcome Vietnamese culturalists to visit Russia. I believe that the Hanoi Days in Moscow, scheduled to open in late November, will be successful. Such cultural exchange activities have proved their necessity. We are planning to continue these activities.
I wish to directly learn more about the Viet Nam’s diverse and rich history and culture as evidenced by the number of Russian tourists to Viet Nam. Last year, the figure increased two-fold, and surged 66% in the first nine moths of this year to 200,000. For the increasingly improved tourism infrastructure in Viet Nam, I am sure that the trend would continue to sustain.
In general, it is hard to find an area in which Viet Nam and Russia have not cooperated fruitfully. I believe that the upcoming talks in Ha Noi will continue to be fruitful and create a strong new impetus for the strategic partnership between the two States and people./.