Reporter: Could you talk about the VPA’s participation in the Army Games 2020?

Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang: Under the approval of the Prime Minister, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense issued a decision to send a delegation of 200 servicemen to the sixth International Army Games (Army Games 2020) hosted by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The Vietnamese delegation will compete in 11 categories of this year’s event, which will take place in Russia, Belarus, and Uzbekistan.

Vietnamese artillery troops practicing for Army Games

This is the third consecutive year that the VPA will send military teams to the Army Games. Their participation is expected to reinforce the traditional friendship, comprehensive strategic partnership, and mutual understanding between the VPA and Russian military as well as the two peoples. It will also assist in implementing bilateral defense cooperation agreements reached by the two militaries.

The Army Games 2020 is an important external affairs activity of the VPN in accordance with the Party’s and State’s policies for foreign relations. The participation in the event shows Vietnam’s support for multilateral external affairs hosted by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation as well as the important role of the country in the international arena. In addition, it is part of practical defense activities within the framework of the Vietnam-Russia Cross-Year 2019-2020 and in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries (1950-2020).

This is also an opportunity for Vietnamese military competitors to acquire valuable experience and improve their skills in operating their weapons, military equipment and vehicles. In addition, their participation in the event offers the VPA a chance to enhance information dissemination on the heroic traditions of Uncle Ho’s soldiers and the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Russia over the past 70 years. The event also is a chance to popularize the images of the Vietnamese people, country, and military to international friends, particularly through cultural and food exchange activities.

Reporter: This is the third time that the VPA has sent contingents to the Games. We only had three teams the first time, but now we are sending teams to compete in 11 categories. What does this growing participation confirm?

Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang: This growing participation shows the increasing development of Vietnam’s defense external affairs, and the belief on training results and combat readiness capabilities  of the VPA, contributing to improving its position in the global arena, firmly protecting independence and sovereignty, and raising troops’ competence to meet the task requirements in the current context.

The VPA’s participation in Army Games 2020 amidst the global health crisis proves the care of the Party and State, the determination of the Central Military Commission and the MND, the sound leadership of defense leaders and relevant agencies, and the efforts of units in the whole military. It is also an opportunity to show the Government’s and MND’s determination to complete the Vietnam-Russia Cross-Year 2019-2020, contributing to reaffirming Vietnam’s position in the international arena and mutual trust between foreign friends and Vietnam.

Reporter: Is the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic the unfavorable factor that you mentioned above? If so, what are we doing to protect the military teams during Army Games 2020?

Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang: The first unfavorable factor is the complicated developments of COVID-19 worldwide. This has caused adjustments in the schedule, places, rules of the games, and plans of all participating teams. Apart from that, the host country had to cancel the plan of supporting several participating countries to get acquainted with equipment and vehicles. Therefore, the Vietnamese military contingent also had to adjust its schedule and forces to prepare for the event.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian Ministry of Defense determined to continue to hold the Army Games 2020. Thus, we had overcome all hardships in training, transportation, and logistical supplies to be part of the event.

We have collaborated with the host’s relevant agencies to build concrete plans to ensure safety for our teams amidst the COVID-19 pandemic such as training team members on COVID-19 preventive skills during the games, disseminating the rules of the host country on its disease prevention measures, and ensuring medical supplies for all teams.

For all preparations we have done, I believe our teams will take part in Army Games 2020 and achieve the best results with absolute safely, contributing to introducing the military, culture and people of Vietnam to foreign friends and reinforcing the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Russia.

Translated by Trung Thanh