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Vietnam, Russia agree to deepen all-around ties, especially in trade, energy

Tuesday, April 07, 2015, 17:31 GMT+7

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his visiting Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev have discussed measures to boost all-around ties between the two countries, particularly in trade and energy.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

The discussions were held on Monday in Hanoi, where the Russian premier arrived a day earlier for his three-day visit.

The two prime ministers informed each other of their country’s political and socio-economic situations and consented to intensify delegation exchanges among high-ranking officials, diversify cooperation channels, and closely support each other in the international arena.

The host and guest also reviewed the implementation of key projects in economy, trade, investment, oil and gas, nuclear power, and military technology.

As the two nations’ bilateral trade decreased slightly last year, the two officials underscored the need for both sides to seek appropriate measures, including the acceleration of the signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union in the first half of 2015 to bring their trade value to US$10 billion by 2020. Officially taking shape on January 1, 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration, with member states being the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation. The two premiers spoke highly of the active implementation of projects in oil and gas, nuclear power, mining, and agriculture.

They agreed to step up cooperation in oil and gas projects on Vietnamese and Russian continental shelves, and speed up the execution of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant project in the south-central Vietnamese province of Ninh Thuan. It is necessary to expand cooperation in science, technology, education, training, culture, and tourism to deepen the comprehensive relationship between the two countries, they added.

PM Dung and Medvedev also exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern. The two agreed that any East Vietnam Sea disputes should be addressed through peaceful means with respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations on the Law of the Sea. Those sides involved should fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea and work toward the formation of a Code of Conduct for that sea, the two premiers said. According to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, the two leaders highly valued the defense and security ties between their two countries, especially in military techniques and soldier training, and agreed to further cooperation in this field.  

At a press briefing after their talks, PM Medvedev said trade between Vietnam and Russia has grown by 20 percent annually over the past five years. Products with high value added account for more than half of the trade, the Russian prime minister said. “In 2014, trade decreased a bit but we and our Vietnamese counterparts consider it a provisional issue. Today, we have discussed measures the two sides need to take to boost the bilateral trade to $10 billion before 2020,” he added. The Russian leader also said that the two countries have 17 cooperation projects in 2015 and both sides are drafting the roadmap for each project. These projects include one under which Russia will provide aircraft for Vietnam and another for parts of Russian automobiles to be assembled in the Southeast Asian country, he said. The two nations will also facilitate the operation of their oil and gas companies on each other’s territory, he added. PM Medvedev invited his Vietnamese counterpart to pay an official visit to Russia. The latter accepted the invitation and the trip will be arranged through diplomatic channels. According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the first day of PM Medvedev's visit to Vietnam, the Russian and Vietnamese sides signed eight cooperation agreements. Among the deals were a framework agreement on Gazprom Neft buying 49 percent of the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company’s shares and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation between Gazprom Neft and the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group. They also signed a memorandum on cooperation between Russia’s Inter Rao Export Electricity Company and Vietnam’s North Power Repair Service JSC on modernizing power plants in the Southeast Asian country and an agreement on cooperation between Russian Railways and Vietnam Railways Corporation.

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