The meeting took place at a time when the Vietnamese top defense leader is paying an official visit to the Russian Federation and the two countries have just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

At the meeting, General Lich stressed that the people and armed forces of the Soviet Union previously and the Russian Federation currently have always stood by and given wholehearted support to the Vietnamese people, especially many Russian experts, who came to help Vietnam in the past. The Vietnamese Party, State, people, and military will always treasure the great assistance from the Russian war veterans, he affirmed.

General Ngo Xuan Lich and Russian war veterans in a joint photo 

The Vietnamese defense minister briefed the veterans on achievements Vietnam has recorded in different fields after 45 years of national reunification and over 30 years of reform (1986-2020). The country’s economy has continuously been developed; social welfare has been ensured; and the socio-political stability and defense-security have been increasingly reinforced, he noted.

The defense minister said that Vietnam will pay more attention to the veterans and wished to welcome them to the country again in the time ahead, expressing his hope that the veterans will further contribute to the traditional friendship between the people of the two countries. He also suggested the veterans donate historical documents regarding their time in Vietnam to the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense for preservation.

In his final remark, General Lich asserted that Vietnam always attaches much importance to developing its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia under any circumstances, with the defense relations as a pillar.

For his part, Colonel Aleksey Skrebliukov, President of the Association of Vietnam’s War Veterans in Saint Petersburg, expressed his pleasure and honor to meet Minister Lich and the Vietnamese delegation.

He said that he always remembers Vietnam with love and respect. He highlighted the long-established relations between Russia and Vietnam, expressing his hope that the close friendship and cooperation between the two countries will be maintained forever.

Meanwhile, war veteran Grigory Pereiatenhes, who was in Vietnam for four months in 1966, shared his pride in making contributions to the Vietnamese people’s fight for national independence and freedom.

Translated by Trung Thanh