Vietnam, Russia to beef up oil and gas cooperations

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Vietnamese Communist Party's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, November 25, 2014. Photo credit: Reuters/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to boost bilateral ties on Tuesday, in oil and gas projects, during the former’s visit to Russia, Vietnam News Agency reported. 
The two leaders met in Sochi to adopt more concrete measures to bring the bilateral trade turnover to US$7 billion in 2015 and $10 billion in 2020.
The pair also pledged to speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the countries of the Eurasian Customs Union (Armenia, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan) in 2015. 
They confirmed that the two countries will further cooperate in mineral exploitation, engineering and energy. 
The two leaders also stressed that Vietnam and Russia will prioritize cooperation in oil and gas and nuclear power projects. 
They pledged to kick off new projects oil and gas projects, and vowed to facilitate operations for state-owned oil energy companies. 
They further agreed to boost cooperations in oil and gas exploration and exploitation on Vietnam’s continental shelf and speed up negotiations on the expansion of the Dung Quat oil refinery. 
Putin said Russia will work closely with Vietnam to build the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant in the namesake Province. 
The two leaders also praised the bilateral cooperation in defense and security and agreed to boost their collaborative efforts in agriculture, aquaculture and forestry. 
After the talk, Mr. Trong and Mr. Putin signed nine bilateral agreements on education, science and technology, IT, customs, sports, oil and gas.
The Russian president also accepted an invitation to visit Vietnam in the near future.

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