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HANOI, November 7 (Itar-Tass) - Political relations of Vietnam and Russia are marked by a high level of mutual trust, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday.
He also hailed trade-economic partnership as developing efficiently and said humanitarian cooperation was expanding.
Vietnam and Russia have a long history of traditional friendship and bilateral ties. In 2001 the countries established relations of strategic partnership, and in 2012 they were upgraded to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership. “This solid foundation is a safe basis for a further deepening and comprehensive development of our relations,” the Vietnamese leader said.
In order to give an additional boost to the development of inter-state ties, Vietnam and Russia must concentrate on the implementation of joint strategic projects in such key spheres of cooperation as trade-economic sphere, the energy sector, including oil and gas, as well as nuclear power industry and military-technical cooperation.
The Vietnamese president pointed to the significance of work on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“Although trade between Vietnam and Russia keeps growing, reaching 2.5 billion dollars in 2012 and making up 1.8 billion dollars in the first eight months of this year, the level is still insufficient,” Truong Tan Sang said.
“Our mutual trade has a rather modest share in foreign trade turnover of each of the countries,” he stated. “It is necessary to boost the process of negotiations in order to shortly sign an agreement on free trade between Vietnam and the Customs Union,” he said.
“This will create conditions for the implementation of the tasks we set earlier to get to the level of seven billion dollars in Vietnamese-Russian trade by 2015 and to further increase it by 2020,” he said.
Truong Tan Sang highlighted the upcoming visit to Vietnam by Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it would give a new powerful boost to the development of comprehensive strategic partnership between Hanoi and Moscow.
He said the visit of the Russian leader, due on November 12, would offer a possibility to discuss the current state of bilateral relations, assess the achieved success and find ways to overcome the existing difficulties.
“We will exchange opinions and work out a common point of view on key directions in the development of efficient and close cooperation, discuss the implementation of important for both countries projects, as well as look into how agreements reached earlier at the summit level have been implemented,” he said.
Talks will focus on discussing ways and measures to strengthen relations of multi-faceted cooperation on all directions - from politics to economy. The two presidents will discuss trade, investments, joint oil and gas projects, the construction of Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant Ninh Thuan 1, military-technical cooperation, strategic cooperation in the sphere of science, technologies and education among other issues, the Vietnamese leader said.
He expressed confidence that President Putin’s visit would give a boost to relations of traditional friendship and cooperation. “Results that will be achieved following the results of Russian president’s visit to Vietnam will express the will and bid of the highest leadership of both countries to more actively develop Russian-Vietnamese relations of comprehensive strategic partnership and increase the quality of bilateral relations. This makes a contribution to the development and renewal of each of our countries for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and all over the world,” President Truong Tan Sang said.