The visit takes place at a time when the two countries will celebrate the Vietnam Year in Russia and Russia Year in Vietnam during 2019-2020, marking the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on fundamental principles of Vietnam - Russia friendship and the 70th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. The official visit to Vietnam by PM Medvedev marks a new milestone in the bilateral relationship, contributing to further deepen the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia.
Vietnamese people are happy to witness Russia’s achievements in all aspects in recent years, as its socio-political situation has gradually stabilised, the economy has recovered and showed signs of development. The role of the State and the Central Government of Russia has been strengthened, while the separatism trend has been pushed back and the people's life has been improved.
In May 2018, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on "National Goals and Strategic Tasks for Russia's Development until 2024", determining the direction for the country’s socio-economic development for the next six years, in which the country will focus on human development, raising incomes, improving social security and modernising the Russian economy.
In recent years, economic and financial sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and Western countries on Russia, coupled with declining oil prices, has negatively impacted the Russian economy. Since 2017, its economy has shown signs of overcoming the crisis, with GDP growth reaching 1.5%. Foreign-exchange reserves at the end of April 2018 reached US$458 billion. Russia is the world's largest producer of crude oil and the world's second-largest producer of gas. Trade turnover in 2017 increased by 25% compared to 2016, reaching US$585 billion. Russia maintains ODA provision at US$500 million a year. The country is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G20, the BRICS and many other international and regional organisations.
Russia adopted the new foreign policy concept in November 2016, with the foundation of an independent and open foreign policy, focused on the protection of national interests and respect for international law. The Asia Pacific is playing an increasingly important role in Russia's foreign policy, with Moscow keen to develop relations with Vietnam, attaching importance to the country's position in the region.
We are pleased to see that the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries has developed actively in all fields, in an increasingly deepened and substantial manner. Vietnam and Russia (as part of the former Soviet Union) have developed a traditional friendship and good cooperation since the former’s resistance against foreign invasion and its struggle for national independence and unification. The Vietnamese people will never forget the support and enthusiasm of the former Soviet people, including the Russian people, for the revolution cause and the national development in Vietnam.
Political relations between the two countries are highly reliable and are constantly being strengthened and developed. Vietnam and Russia regularly exchanged high-level delegations, creating a strong impetus for the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, with the most recent visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to Russia in September 2018 and the visit by Chairwoman of the Federal Council of Russia Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko to Vietnam in 2017. On the basis of the traditional friendship and trust, the two countries have agreed on many international issues and have coordinated and supported each other in international forums, fostering cooperation within the ASEAN-Russia framework.
The multi-faceted cooperation, especially in economics, trade, science - technology, education - training, culture and tourism, between the two countries has witnessed new strikes. The economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Russia has been dynamically developing, however, still not matching the potential for good political relations between the two countries. Two-way trade in 2017 reached US$3.55 billion.
Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union member countries officially signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2015. Russia ranks 23rd among countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 116 projects worth US$990 billion in registered capital. Vietnam has 22 investment projects in Russia with a total capital of nearly US$3 billion. Energy remains a traditional and effective field of cooperation, bringing great revenue to the two countries' budgets. Russia continues to be one of the top 10 growth markets for Vietnam’s tourism.
Cultural exchanges have been held actively, contributing to enhancing understanding and friendship between the two countries. Previously, in the Soviet Union, Russia helped to train nearly 40,000 officials and specialists in many sectors for Vietnam. At present, Russia continues to support Vietnam to train human resources with more than 5,000 Vietnamese students studying in Russia. The Vietnamese community in Russia has made significant contributions to the host country, always taking the lead in charity activities.
This official visit to Vietnam by PM Medvedev aims to confirm the determination of leaders and people of the two countries in strengthening the Vietnam - Russia traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership, while promoting cooperation in all fields, especially economics, trade and investment. May the visit to Vietnam by PM Medvedev be a success, thus bringing the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia to new heights.