An aerial view of Moscow, Russia's capital. (Source: www.whitecase.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Russia from May 16-20 is the first by a Vietnamese high-ranking official in the new tenure, which aims to implement the foreign policy of the 12th National Party Congress and strengthen the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

During the trip to Russia, the PM will also attend the Commemorative Summit to mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia dialogue relationship.

*Vietnam-Russia relationship grows strongly

The Vietnam-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has strongly developed in the past years across the fields.

The bilateral political relationship is based on solid trust and has been constantly strengthened, with the frequent exchange of high-level delegations.

The two countries have effectively implemented the priority cooperation tasks in 2015 and regularly held strategic dialogues and defence dialogues.

The two sides also shared the view on many international and regional issues and closely coordinate and support each other at international forums.

The Vietnam-Russia economic and trade cooperation has been developing dynamically, though yet to match potential. The two countries have been maintaining the inter-governmental mechanism on economic, trade, and science-technology cooperation.

The Vietnam-Russia Business Council was formed to assist promotion, trade and investment activities for business communities of the two countries. In 2007, Vietnam and Russia recognised the market economy status of each country.

The two-way trade volume reached 2.2 billion USD in 2015 and 591 million USD in the first quarter this year. Vietnam mainly exported phones, garments and agro-forestry-fishery products while mainly importing oil and petrol, steel, fertilizer, machinery and equipment from Russia.

Currently Russia ranks 17 out of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with a total capital of 2 billion USD in 114 projects. Russian companies mainly invested in mining, processing and manufacturing industry in Vietnam.

Vietnamese companies have invested 2.93 billion USD in Russia, mostly in oil and gas and trade with some big projects like Rusvietpetro, Gazpromviet and the Hanoi Trade Centre in Moscow.

Energy has been the traditional and strategic field of cooperation for the two countries, with considerable contributions to Vietnam and Russia’s state budget. The two sides reached agreements to continue their partnership in the construction or upgrade of energy facilities in Vietnam. On October 31, 2010, the two countries signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement on cooperation on constructing a nuclear power plant in Vietnam and another agreement on Russia’s provision of finance for the implementation of the project was signed on November, 2011.

The two countries also frequently organise cultural activities to boost understanding and friendship between Vietnamese and Russian peoples. In terms of tourism, Russia is one of Vietnam’s 10 leading markets. Russia continues assisting Vietnam in training human resources with around 5,000 Vietnamese students studying in Russia.

The two countries also step up cooperation in security, defence, science-technology and ties between their localities, with more than 100 cooperation agreements having been signed since 1991 in economy, trade, investment, gas and oil, nuclear power, training and education, culture, science and military engineering.

The Vietnamese community in Russia numbers between 60,000 to 80,000.

* Summit to draws orientations for ASEAN-Russia ties

The Commemorative Summit to mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia dialogue relationship takes place in the context of positive progress in bilateral ties.

At the meeting, Russian and ASEAN leaders will discuss and draw up guidelines for strengthening the ASEAN-Russia Partnership and make it more practical and effective in the future.-VNA