Participants cut the ribbon to inaugurate the statue (Photo: VNA)

The People’s Committee of northern Quang Ninh province unveiled a monument to cosmonaut hero Gherman Titov on an island in Ha Long Bay on September 14.

The inauguration was held on the occasion of the 65th founding anniversary of the Vietnam-Soviet Union Friendship Association, now the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association, and the 80th birthday of the astronaut.

Gherman Titov is known as the pilot of the Vostok (East) II spacecraft, which was launched just four months after the first journey into outer space by the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin in April 12, 1961.

He was the first person to photograph the Earth, conduct biomedical experiments and communicate via radio from space.

In January 1962, Titov visited Vietnam at the invitation of President Ho Chi Minh, who accompanied the cosmonaut to Ha Long Bay where they named island No. 48 Ti Top – Vietnam’s pronunciation of the cosmonaut’s name.

Dao Trong Thi, Chairman of the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association, considered the statue a symbol of the amity between Vietnam and Russia and of the sentiment between President Ho Chi Minh and Titov.

Titov, former Chairman of the Soviet Union-Vietnam Friendship Association and the honorary Chairman of the later Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association, was a great friend of the Vietnamese people.

He contributed greatly to Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation and reunification as well as the special friendship between Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the past and between Vietnam and Russia at present, Thi added.

At the statue’s reveal on Ti Top Island, Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vasilievich Vnukov, Chairman of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association Vladimir Petrovich Buianov and Titov’s relatives thanked the Quang Ninh authorities, adding that the monument will help strengthen the traditional relations between the two countries along with cooperation between Russian localities and Quang Ninh.-VNA