Vietnamese, Russian FMs seek to step up ties

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh reiterated the Vietnamese Party and leaders’ consistent policy of prioritizing the strengthening of the long-standing friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on November 24.

At the talks (Credit: VNA)
At the talks (Credit: VNA)

Minister Minh, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, is on Russia visit from November 23-25. He briefed his host on Vietnam’s major orientations for socio-economic development and external policies over the next five years.

Expressing satisfaction with high political trust between the two nations, both sides agreed to further facilitate the exchange of all-level visits including the Party, State, government, National Assembly, ministry and local channels; to effectively maintain existing dialogue and consultation mechanisms; and hasten negotiations and the signing of several agreements to fine-tune the legal framework for bilateral coordination.

In the first ten months of this year, two-way trade hit US$2.2 billion. The two countries are set to effectively realise the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union free trade agreement towards lifting the figure to US$10 billion by 2020.

In order to facilitate exports and imports, both host and guest pledged to embark on projects in the fields of energy, industry and mechanical engineering, including establishing an automobile manufacturing joint-venture in Vietnam, opening a Vietnam light industry complex in Moscow, and TH True Milk dairy farm in Russia’s Moscow Oblast and Kaluga province.

The two ministers underscored energy ties as one of the strategic pillars for each country’s development, and vowed all possible support for Vietnamese and Russian oil and gas firms to enhance coordination.

They were committed to continuing effective and close bilateral cooperation in national defence-security, especially in relation to military technical aspects, as well as expanding ties across science-technology, education - training, culture, tourism, labour and liaison among localities.

Minh thanked the Russian Foreign Ministry and agencies concerned for offering support to Vietnamese nationals living in the host country.

In regards to multilateral cooperation, the two countries will continue working closely together at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Vietnam backs Russia’s active role in the Asia-Pacific and stands ready to serve as a bridge connecting Russia and ASEAN, Minh said.

Lavrov, for his part, hailed Vietnam’s increasing stature in the region and the world.

The two ministers expressed their delight at the countries’ shared viewpoints on most regional and global matters of significance, including those involving the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Turning to the East Sea issue, they were unanimous on the necessity of the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

They described the maintenance of regular political consultations between the two foreign ministries as significant to further promoting the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership and joint action on the international arena.

Following the talks, Minh and Lavrov signed a cooperation scheme between the two foreign ministries for 2017-2018.

Earlier, Minh laid a wreath at a memorial dedicated to unknown martyrs and the Ho Chi Minh Monument in Moscow.