Russian FM to assist Vietnam in FTA talks with customs union

By Truong Son, Thanh Nien News

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) chats with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh on the way to a news briefing at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi April 16, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS
Russia will support Vietnam in negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan so that the process can be finalised within this year.  Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Hanoi, Wednesday.
Minister Lavrov spoke with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh about the agreement during his two-day visit to Vietnam on April 15-16.
The two agreed that the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has developed strongly, bringing practical gains for both sides in all sectors.
Two-way trade between the countries reached nearly US$4 billion last year, up 7 percent year-on-year.
Lavrov and Minh also agreed that their countries share the same viewpoints on most regional and international issues. They both believe in the need to resolve disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means and in compliance with international law.
The two sides place a high priority on the completion of 12 major investment projects such as the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant, several oil and gas projects and the expansion of the Dung Quat refinery.
They also agreed to speed up the creation of the Vietnam-Russia University of Technology in Vietnam.
At the end of their meeting, Lavrov and Minh signed a cooperation plan between the two foreign ministries for the 2015-2016 period.
In the same day, Russian Foreign Minister met Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang. Sang said his country attaches special importance to developing a comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia.
The president called on Russian and Vietnamese governments to actively carry out the agreement and key projects.
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