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Russian FM stresses traditional relations with Vietnam


VNA: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of Russia-Vietnam diplomatic ties that in the current state of the world, the maintenance of the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two countries will be one of the major factors in the strengthening and development of their co-operation.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on January 25, Minister Lavrov affirmed that the friendship between the two peoples has stood the test of time. Over the past 55 years, mutual trust and support have been the backbone of Russia-Vietnam relations, both during the difficult time when Vietnam was fighting for national independence and reunification and national construction in peace.

Discussing the prospects of the strategic partnership between the two countries, FM Lavrov noted that bilateral ties have grown stronger in recent years, with regular political dialogues having been held at all levels, especially at the highest level.

He also emphasised Vietnam's role in Russia's foreign policy, adding that Vietnam has been contributing greatly to promoting political and business contacts between Russia and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He said Russia hopes Vietnam will continue to help boost Russia-ASEAN ties.

Economic and trade co-operation has always constituted the greater part of bilateral relations, the minister said, adding that there is practical ground to increase two-way trade to US $1 billion in 2005, taking into account the fact that trade between the two countries jumped by nearly one third to US $800 million last year.

According to the minister, Russia will increase exports of equipment in energy, coal mining and civil aviation to Vietnam in order to repair the imbalance in its trade with Vietnam.

Personnel training and cultural exchange also receive much attention in bilateral co-operation. More than 4,000 Vietnamese students are currently studying in Russia, 1,200 of them being on Russian scholarships. Minister Lavrov said Russia welcomes Vietnamese students to its universities. He also noted that the two countries have also maintained the tradition of organising Culture Days in rotation./.

 
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