On February 5, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu hosted an official reception for Vietnamese Minister of National Defense General Ngo Xuan Lich, who is leading a high-ranking Vietnamese defense delegation on an official visit to Russia at the invitation of the Russian Defense Minister.

Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich reviews the Guard of Honor of the Russian Defense Ministry

After the reception, the two defense ministers held talks at the Headquarters of the Russian Defense Ministry, Moscow, Russia.

At the meeting, the host warmly welcomed the Vietnamese Defense Minister and his entourage to Russia, saying that the visit would contribute significantly to promoting the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, especially since the two countries had just celebrated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties (January 30, 1950 - 2020).

General Lich thanked the host for the warm and esteemed reception and congratulated General Sergey Shoigu on his recent reappointment as Russian Defense Minister.

Both defense ministers expressed delight at recent positive developments in the Vietnam-Russia relations and cooperation in various areas, in accordance with the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership and for interests of each country.

The guest reiterated that the Vietnamese people and army always remember the Soviet people and army’s great assistance for the Vietnamese national liberation wars in the past as well as effective support from the Russian State and army for Vietnam’s current national construction and defense cause. Vietnam always gives first and foremost priority to continuously promoting unity, relations, and cooperation with Russia. In doing so, Vietnam strengthens the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership with defense cooperation as an important pillar, in a comprehensive, trustful, practical, and effective manner.

During the talks

For his part, the Russian Defense Minister said that Russia always considers Vietnam a traditional friend and an important strategic partner in the region. The Russian side always promotes bilateral relations and cooperation with Vietnam in the framework of the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership for benefits of both nations and for peace, stability, and development in the region and world. He also affirmed that Russia attaches much importance to developing relations and cooperation with Vietnam in various areas, including defense.

The two defense ministers assessed that the bilateral defense cooperation has developed in width and depth over the past time, bringing about practical outcomes and contributing to cementing political trust between the two countries. According to the two top defense officials, the two sides effectively maintained bilateral cooperation mechanisms, particularly delegation exchange at all levels, defense policy dialogue, working groups’ meetings, military technical cooperation, personnel training, and cooperation between the two sides’ military corps and services with naval cooperation as a model of defense cooperation between the two countries. Especially, the two sides coordinated closely in organizing joint defense activities in celebration of the Vietnam-Russia Cross-Year 2019-20.

General Lich took the occasion to thank the Russian Defense Minister and Russian Defense Ministry for their effective support for Vietnamese military teams participating in the Army Games 2019 in Russia. He also appreciated the Russian side’s participation in scientific research at the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Center in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Defense Minister also hoped that the two sides would support each other at regional forums hosted by Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair in 2020 as well as at the UN Security Council during Vietnam’s non-permanent membership in the Council in the period of 2020-21.

Regarding orientations for the bilateral defense cooperation in the coming time, the two defense ministers agreed to bolster defense cooperation on the basis of mutual political trust and the signed deals, particularly the newly signed Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation. The two sides also agreed to regularly exchange views on security and defense issues of mutual concern and promote defense cooperation in traditional areas.

Vietnamese and Russian defense ministers with the newly-signed Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation in the 2020-25 period

General Lich affirmed that the Vietnamese side will support and closely coordinate with the Russian side so that the two sides can successfully co-chair the ADMM+ Expert Group on Anti-Terrorism in the period of 2020-23.

General Lich also invited General Sergey Shoigu to pay an official visit to Vietnam and attend the ADMM+ and the celebration of the 10th anniversary of ADMM+ hosted by Vietnam.

At the end of the meeting, the two defense ministers signed the Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation in the 2020-25 period, which is seen as an important orientation for the bilateral defense cooperation in the coming time.

Earlier on February 4, the visiting Vietnamese Defense Minister and his entourage laid wreaths at the Ho Chi Minh Monument and Soviet Nameless Martyrs Memorial in Moscow, Russia.

Within the framework of his official visit to Russia, General Lich is also expected to meet other senior Russian officials and visit Russian military units and the Vietnamese embassy in Moscow.

Reported by Thu Trang from Russia

Translated by Thu Nguyen