At present time, defense cooperation remains a pillar in the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership and a highlight in the Vietnam-Belarus cooperative relations. 

Defense cooperation – a pillar in the Vietnam-Russia relations

The defense cooperation between Vietnam and Russia has been expanded in both contents and forms in line with the development of the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries have well maintained a regular and effective operation of the Vietnam-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on military technical cooperation, the deputy ministerial-level dialogue on defense strategy, and delegation exchanges at all levels, including visits of high-ranking delegations. The highlights were the visit of Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu to Vietnam in January 2018 and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich’s visit to Russia and participation in the seventh Moscow Conference on International Security later on April 4 and 5.

Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (right) had a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart  Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of seventh Moscow Conference on International Security.

At high-level meetings, the two defense ministers agreed to promote consultations on defense and security issues of mutual concern as well as to foster bilateral cooperation on traditional fields, including military technology on the basis of equality and mutual benefits. Also, Vietnam has supported Russia in expanding its relationships with ASEAN member nations, especially Russia’s active participation in ASEAN-led regional security mechanisms.

Regarding their bilateral defense cooperation, Vietnam and Russia signed a plan to promote the bilateral relations in the 2018-2020 period in a bid to realize the defense cooperation agreements inked by the two countries’ leaders as well as to develop a roadmap for defense cooperation in the next three years in an intensive and effective manner.

It is obvious that the high-level delegation exchanges have over the past time contributed to consolidating strategic trust between the two militaries, serving as a foundation for the two sides to effectively exchange strategic viewpoints, and expand cooperation in personnel training, military technology, scientific research, military medicine, and UN peacekeeping operations, among others.

In the coming time, the two countries will promote delegation exchanges during the Vietnam Year in Russia and the Russia Year in Vietnam during 2019-2020. Vietnam also vowed to participate in Russian Defense Ministry initiated-international multilateral activities in 2019, including the Army Games 2019.

A highlight in Vietnam-Belarus relations

Over the past time, the Vietnam-Belarus traditional friendship and cooperation has seen active development with cooperation in the defense field is a highlight.

Since the two defense ministries signed agreements on defense cooperation and training (2009-2019), the bilateral defense cooperation has developed and recorded important achievements in personnel training and information and experience sharing. The two sides sent delegations to share their experience in press and media, as part of the activities to realize agreements signed by the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army and Belarus’s General Department of Ideological Work in June 2012 and those reached during the Vietnam visit of Major General Aleksandr Nikolaevich, Director of the General Department of Ideological Work in October, 2014.

Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and his Belarusian counterpart Ravkov Andrei Alekseevich witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in November, 2018.

During the visit of Belarusian Defense Minister Ravkov Andrei Alekseevich to Vietnam in November 2018, the two sides agreed to maintain military delegation exchanges at all levels as well as to expand cooperation in potential fields, including delegation exchange, experience sharing, personnel training, military communications, and military science. During the visit, the two sides signed an agreement on military science and a plan on military delegation exchange in 2019. 

With the foundation of the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership and Vietnam-Belarus cooperative relations, it is strongly believed that the Vietnam-Russia and Vietnam-Belarus defense cooperation will develop strongly, intensively and effectively for the benefits of each country and for peace and stability in regions and the world as a whole.

Translated by Tran Hoai