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HANOI, July 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Vietnam have everything needed to bring their strategic partnership relations to an ever higher level, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, who began his official visit to Russia on Thursday, said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.
“Vietnam’s relations with the former Soviet Union and now with the Russian Federation have friendly and long-term character. Our peoples have been closely cooperating for decades. Vietnam will never forget the free, sincere and efficient assistance offer to our country by the Soviet Union and Russia in the hard years of the struggle for independence,” he noted.
According to the Vietnamese leader, the two countries have been maintaining dynamically developing cooperation in the years after the establishment of strategic partnership relations. Over these years, Russia and Vietnam have exerted much effort to build and strengthen ties in all spheres, including in politics, economics, investment cooperation. In his words, the most significant achievement in bilateral relations is cooperation in the oil and gas sector. The Russian-Vietnamese joint venture Vietsovpetro, which develops oil fields on the Vietnamese shelf, has been an absolute leader in this area for years. “This company gave birth to Vietnam’s entire oil and gas industry,” Truong Tan Sang said.
Set up in 1981 by Russia’s oil major Zarubezhneft and Vietnam’s Petrovietnam national oil and gas corporation, Vietsovpetro is a key joint economic project and, moreover, it rankes among the world’s biggest and most economically efficient oil companies. The joint venture accounts for more than a half of Vietnam’s entire oil production. “The term of cooperation between the two countries in this project has been extended till 2030, since it has been showing good results, which prove that the choice of the oil and gas cooperation model was right. More to it, prospecting and oil production are not limited to Vietnam’s continental shelf. Works in Russia have already started and our cooperation is very much likely to embrace third countries as well,” the Vietnamese president stressed.
In his words, cooperation in the oil and gas sector “is a vivid example of the Vietnamese-Russia economic cooperation,” and the experience they have gained in this sector will be used in other areas as well.
The Vietnamese leader stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in the nuclear energy sector with an eye of building a first-ever nuclear power plant in Vietnam. “Taking into account the level of political confidence and a number of other factors, the Vietnamese government has decided to invite Russia for cooperation in the construction of Vietnam’s first nuclear plant on the basis of the state-of-the-art and safe technologies. This project should also be cited as a bright example of bilateral cooperation in the energy sector at the current stage with good prospects for a long-time perspective,” he noted. Construction works will start in 2014 and by 202 the plant will be put into operation. Vietnam’s partner in this project is Russia’ state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom.