PANO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Vietnam today to pay an official visit to Russia and to participate in an ASEAN-Russia summit in Moscow from May 16th to 20th. He traveled at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.


>> PM’s visit to cement Vietnam-Russia partnership


Staff of the Vietnam Embassy in Russia welcoming PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at Vnukovo International Airport

The comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia witnessed big developments in the past. Political ties between the two States have been cemented. Vietnam and Russia hold high political trust in each other. The two countries regularly exchange visits of high-ranking delegations. The two sides successfully fulfilled the 2015 list of priority tasks to boost bilateral relations and cooperation between Vietnam and Russia.

Since 2008, Vietnam and Russia have held annual diplomatic, defense, and security strategic dialogues at the permanent-deputy-ministerial level. In 2013, the two countries started the strategic dialogue at the defense-deputy-ministerial level. The two foreign ministries of Vietnam and Russia also regularly hold political consultations at the levels of deputy minister and department and office leaders.

Vietnam and Russia share the same views on a number of regional and international issues. The two sides coordinate closely and support each other in international forums, such as the UN, APEC and ARF. In October 2010, Vietnam successfully held the second ASEAN-Russia Summit in Hanoi. With Vietnam’s support, Russia became a full member of ASEM in October 2010 and participated in the East Asia Summit as of 2011.

Regarding bilateral economic cooperation, two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia stood at US$ 2.7 billion in 2013, US$2.55 billion in 2014 and US$2.2 billion in 2015. It reached US$ 591 million in the first quarter of 2016. Major Vietnamese exports to Russia include mobile phones, garments, aquatic products, and produce while Vietnam imports machinery, equipment, oil products, steel, and fertilizers from Russia.

Russia is ranked 17th among the 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Russia runs 114 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of US$2 billion. Large Russian projects in Vietnam involve mining, processing, manufacturing and communications.

Vietnam has increased investment in Russia over the past few years. Vietnam now has some 20 projects with a total registered capital of US$2.93 billion in Russia, a big increase from US$100 million in 2008. Vietnamese-funded projects in Russia are mainly in commerce, services and the oil industry.

Energy has remained a traditional area of effective cooperation and benefited both Vietnam and Russia over the past years. The oldest and largest joint energy venture between the two sides is Vietsovpetro. The joint venture remains effective until 2030. In recent years, Vietnam and Russia set up other large joint ventures, namely Rusvietpetro, Vietgazprom and Gazpromviet, to produce oil in Vietnam, Russia and other countries.

Cultural and art exchanges are also frequently held in both Vietnam and Russia, to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. The two sides hold annual Russian and Vietnamese Days in each other’s countries.

In terms of tourism, Russia is one of the major tourism markets of Vietnam. The number of Russian tourists to Vietnam increases year on year. In 2015, Vietnam welcomed 340,000 Russian tourists.

In the past, the former Soviet Union helped Vietnam train some 40,000 Vietnamese cadres and specialists in various areas. Russia continues to support Vietnam in training high-quality human resources. Every year, Russia grants scholarships to hundreds of Vietnamese students to study at Russian universities. At this point, some 5,000 Vietnamese students are studying in Russia.

During the official visit to Russia, the Vietnamese Prime Minister will also participate in an ASEAN-Russia Summit, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue. Over the past years, relations between ASEAN and Russia have seen positive developments.

After the ASEAN-US Summit in February 2016, leaders of ASEAN countries have been invited by another major power, Russia, to a summit. This shows the important role and increased status of ASEAN. Leaders of ASEAN countries and Russia are expected to review bilateral relations over the past years and to draw up approaches to strengthen bilateral relations in the future.

The official visit to Russia is the first foreign trip of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in his capacity as Prime Minister. The visit shows that Vietnam attaches importance to strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia.

In this visit to Russia, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is accompanied by a number of high-ranking Vietnamese officials and businessmen, who will work with their Russian counterparts to review the implementation of the signed deals and explore opportunities to expand cooperation.

At the ASEAN-Russia Summit, the Vietnamese Prime Minister will work with leaders of other ASEAN countries and with Russia on directions and measures to boost ASEAN-Russian relations. Participants will also discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern. The summit will lay the foundation for future development of ASEAN-Russian relations and cooperation.

The official visit to Russia by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his entourage is the evidence of the traditional friendship, bilateral cooperation, and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia. It will bring bilateral relations between Vietnam and Russia to a higher level. And the participation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the ASEAN-Russia Summit will contribute to bolstering ASEAN-Russian relations.

Written by Editorial Board

Translated by Thu Nguyen