Vietnam to develop strategic partnership with Moscow

The aim of the forthcoming visit to Russia by Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nong Duc Manh is "the further development of strategic partnership" between the two countries, Vietnamese Vice Premier Vu Khoan told Russian journalists. Nong Duc Manh is to arrive in Russia on October 9. "The situation in the Asia-Pacific region needs permanent attention. Russia and Vietnam have common viewpoints on many issues, and we should coordinate our actions in order to make our contributions into the consolidation of peace in Asia and all over the world," Vu Khoan said.

Many bilateral issues should be solved at the top level, Vu Khoan stressed. On the whole, the cooperation is developing in all spheres, however, there are many neglected reserves, he noted. "Our Secretary-General will discuss this problem with the Russian President and other top officials," the vice premier said.

Trade and economic relations are the priority of bilateral contacts, Vu Khoan noted. "Russia is a country with a huge potential, and the annual $500 million volume of Russian-Vietnamese trade turnover is not normal, while the Vietnamese-US turnover is 1.5 billion dollars and the Vietnamese-Chinese turnover is 3 billion dollars," the vice premier said.

According to Vu Khoan, the period of stagnation in Russian-Vietnamese relations is over. "Joint oil and gas prospecting and production, ensuring major incomes to both sides, indicate to this fact," he said. However, the volume of bilateral cooperation is still unsatisfactory, Vu Khoan added. "There were many discussions on the creation of a free trade area. We would like to achieve some progress on this issue," the vice premier stressed.