Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov (R) and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov convened a press conference in Hanoi on December 28 to review Vietnam –Russia ties for 2015 when the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (January 30) were celebrated.

During the year, Russian and Vietnamese leaders increased political dialogues, which was reflected through Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedew’s visit to Vietnam and President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to attend the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.

He expressed his belief that the bilateral free trade agreement among Eurasian member states, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam, which was signed on May 29, 2015, marks a key step to expand bilateral economic and investment ties.

Two-way trade hit 3.74 billion USD last year and 2.74 billion USD in January-October. Russian firms invested in 114 projects worth 2 billion USD in 24 Vietnamese cities and provinces while the Vietnamese side poured 2.4 billion USD into 18 projects across Russia.

On the educational front, nearly 6,000 Vietnamese students are pursuing studies in Russia. The Russian government provided scholarships for 800 students and the figure is expected to increase to 1,000 by 2018.

Both countries keep working closely together in the fields of oil and gas, energy, national defence-security, culture, education and science. Ministries, agencies, localities and people have expanded their engagements by discussing matters regarding immigration, banking, customs, judicial affairs, border protection and anti-corruption.

The ambassador told the media that Vietnam and Russia are set to extend business cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Russia plans to publish a collection of material popularising Vietnam, its culture and people, he said, adding that agriculture is one of their priorities next year.-VNA