Putin calls for closer military ties with Vietnam

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Russian president Vladimir Putin said at a meeting in Moscow Wednesday that the country needs to develop stronger military ties with Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

An upgrade of bilateral cooperation means Vietnam and Russia will no longer only be involved in trading but also in research, production and invention of weapons and other military equipment, the president said at the meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation at Novo Ogarevo residence outside Moscow.

He said Russia and Vietnam can jointly establish centers for repair, warranty and upgrade services as well as work together to export military products to third countries.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said during a recent visit to Russia that Vietnam will allow Russia to build a shipyard for repairing ships at Cam Ranh port in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

Putin said Vietnam will be a qualified partner for Russia.

In late 2009, Vietnam announced the purchase of six Kilo-class submarines worth US$2 billion from Russia, one of the biggest contracts in Russian Navy history. The first one was launched to Vietnam in late August this year.

Putin also mentioned the imperative for stronger military ties with other countries in the BRIC grouping  Brazil, India and China, which together with Russia are all at a similar stage of economic development.

He also asked the countries and Vietnam to respect Russia's copyrights and intellectual property in the cooperation. Russia has sold $10.7 billion worth of weapons and military technologies to other countries in the first nine months this year.

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