Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has spoke highly of the contributions Russian Ambassador Andrey Kovtun has made to consolidating and intensifying bilateral ties during his five-year working term in Vietnam.

Receiving the outgoing diplomat in Hanoi on December 3, the host said that during 2009-2014, the two countries’ collaboration has seen positive progress with political ties enhanced and delegation exchanges and meetings held regularly.

Bilateral economic relation has grown continuously, with two-way trade rising from 1.8 billion USD in 2009 to nearly 4 billion in 2013.

Cooperation on energy, defence-security, science-technology, education, culture and tourism has been also promoted, he added.

The Deputy PM affirmed that Vietnam considers Russia a priority in its foreign policy, expressing hope that bilateral affiliation will contribute more to each country’s development.

The ambassador, in turn, thanked the Vietnamese Government, Foreign Ministry, agencies and localities for helping him during his tenure.

With deep understanding about Vietnam’s land and people, the diplomat promised to continue his efforts to develop the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in the time ahead.-VNA