Vietnam, Russia set to enhance cooperation in all fields

By Truong Son, Thanh Nien News

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Hanoi on April 6., 2015. Photo: Ngoc Thang

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed Monday to boost Vietnam-Russia ties in all fields, especially trade and investment, oil and gas, and nuclear cooperation.
During their meeting after Medvedev arrived in Hanoi for a three-day visit, they said the value of bilateral trade has slightly decreased recently, therefore the two countries’ ministries, sectors and businesses should seek proper measures. These include speeding up negotiations for the singing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union by middle this year.
PM Dung and Medvedev also suggested that the two countries’ banks examine the feasibility of using each others' currencies to help promote bilateral trade.
Russia and Vietnam can easily switch to their national currencies -- the Russian rouble and the Vietnamese dong -- in mutual settlements, Medvedev previously said in an interview with the Vietnamese media.
So far, most of the settlements are made in US dollars.
PM Dung also pledged to create favorable conditions and ensure safety for Russian oil and gas companies operating in Vietnamese waters.
They confirmed the two countries will go ahead with the construction of Ninh Thuan 1 Nuclear Power Plant as agreed. Russia is expected to provide technical assistance and training for the project. 
They highly valued their mutual defense-security ties, especially in military technology and soldier training and affirmed their continued cooperation in the field.
They also exchanged ideas about the settlement of disputes in the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea, with peaceful measures based on international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and a possible Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC).
After their talk, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a series of documents in the fields of energy, investment, banking, healthcare and transport, including a frame agreement on Gazprom Neft's purchase of 49 percent of shares in Vietnam’s Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical. There is also a new Memorandum of Understanding on seeking, exploiting and exploring oil and gas between Vietnam's oil and gas group PetroVietnam and Gazprom Neft.
The same day, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov told local media that the Vietnam-Russia two-way trade turnover was US$3.748 billion in 2014, and is expected to reach $10 billion in 2020.

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