The fruitful development of the Vietnam-Russia defence ties have practically contributed to promoting the strategic cooperation between the two nations, Vietnamese Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh has said.

Defence Minister Thanh made the remarks at an interview granted to the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS in Hanoi on the threshold of his trip to Russia.

According to the Defence Minister, the Vietnam-Russia relationship has developed effectively in various realms, including national defence, matching their comprehensive strategic partnership as well as each country’s benefits.

The agreement on fundamental orientations for defence cooperation reached by the two defence ministries in 1994 and the Vietnam-Russia Committee for Military Technology Cooperation established in 1998 have created important foundations for the defence ties to go forward, he said.

The two sides have also conducted exchange of military delegations at different levels, including senior defence officers.

Russia is Vietnam’s leading strategic partner in cooperation in military technology, Minister Thanh said, noting that cooperation in such areas as navigation, training, information exchange and scientific research have been also strengthened.

Regarding prospects for defence ties between the two countries in the time to come, the minister said that Vietnam and Russia hold full favourable conditions to continue developing the linkage, citing their regional strategic locations and time-honoured friendship, particularly mutual political trust.

He suggested the building and maintenance of mutual trust between the two countries in general and the two armies in particular through practical and effective activities based on the spirit of respecting international regulations and law.

Minister Thanh laid special emphasis for the two sides to continue their close coordination and mutual support in regional and international issues at multilateral forums, particularly the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), actively contributing to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation for regional development in the new period.

Responding the inquiry about the use of Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Port in the central province of Khanh Hoa, the minister reiterated Vietnam’s stance that it will not be used as a military facility for foreign countries.

Vietnam will establish a maritime service centre of its own in Cam Ranh to provide repair and maintenance services for commercial and navy ships both at home and abroad, he affirmed.

Defence Minister Thanh and other senior officers from the Vietnam People’s Army have left Hanoi for a European tour that includes official visits to Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

The tour, from August 6 to 21, looks to reinforce the traditional friendship and mutually beneficiary cooperation between the people and army of Vietnam and the host countries.

It aims to promote peace, stability, cooperation and development in each region and the world at large.-VNA