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Putin arrives in Vietnam on official visit

November 12, 2013, 9:53 UTC+3 HANOI
Russia's President to hold talks with the country's President and Prime Minister
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HANOI, November 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived on an official visit in Vietnam where he will hold talks with President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong.

Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters the Russian President is also expected to take part in the ceremony of opening the Days of Russia Culture in Vietnam that will last from November 12 through to November 17.

Program of the visit

The program of the visit will open with the laying of flowers to the Memorial of Heroes and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the two Presidents will have a one-on-one meeting after that. Members of the delegations will join them in full force later on.

After the talks, about ten documents are expected to be signed. The final list of them is still being coordinated. Also, Vladimir Putin and Truong Tan Sang will make statements for the media.

One of the documents to be signed is a joint statement on further strengthening of Russian-Vietnamese strategic partnership.

The next item in the itinerary is Putin’s conversations with the Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Communist Party.

Vietnamese President will organize and official reception in his own name and it will be followed by the opening ceremony of Days of Russian Culture in Vietnam.

“The two Presidents will address the audiences at the Grand Opera Theater in Hanoi from the rostrum,” Ushakov said.

In the course of the visit, Putin and Truong will familiarize themselves with a joint photo exhibition organized by Itar-Tass and the Vietnamese News agency and devoted to bilateral cooperation.

Other participants

The delegation accompanying Putin on this visit includes executives of the oil major Rosneft, the natural gas giant Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprom Neft, the nuclear corporation Rosatom, Zarubezhneft oil development company, and officials from a number of ministries.

Ushakov stressed the prominent place of trade and economic issues at the coming talks.

Russian-Vietnamese economic ties

Russian-Vietnamese trade went up to $3.66 billion last year and Russian exports occupied $1.39 billion in that figure. The countries have set an objective for themselves to raise it to $7 billion in 2015 and to $10 billion in 2020.

Talks between the Eurasian Customs Union countries and Vietnam began in 2013. Three rounds have been held to date and the fourth round is due in Vietnam in December.

More than 90 projects involving Russian capital are being carried out in Vietnam at present and their total value (exclusive of the oil and gas sector) stands at $2 billion.

As for the oil and gas sector, the Russian corporations LUKOIL, Gazprom and Rosneft are operating in it successfully along with the joint-venture Vietsovpetro that was set up back in 1981.

The Russian side hopes to take part in the modernization of the Dung Quat oil refinery in Quang Ngai province. Supplies of liquefied natural gas from the plants Gazprom is building in Siberia and the Far East of Russia and the utilization of Russian gas as engine fuel by Vietnamese public transport.

Nuclear cooperation

Russia will assist Vietnam in building the country’s first-ever nuclear power plant Ninh Thuan-1. Russia has issued a state loan of $8 billion to Hanoi for translating the project into reality.

Also, the two sides are getting close to the practical phase of creating a center for nuclear science and technologies in Vietnam.

Educational and tourist contacts

About 5,000 Vietnamese students and postgraduates are studying at Russian universities at present and 2,000 of them have come to Russia under state programs. The sides are drafting an intergovernmental agreement on setting up a Russian-Vietnamese Technological University.

Vietnam remains a popular destination with Russian tourists. About 190,000 Russians spent their vacations here in 2012 - twice as many as in 2011, and the figure for the period of January through to September 2013 was 206,000 tourists.

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