Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets with Chairwoman of the Russian Federal Council Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko on February 21 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam and Russia’s Federal Council to continue all-level delegation exchanges and diversify channels of cooperation.

Meeting with Chairwoman of the Russian senate Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko in Hanoi on February 21, he said he believes that Matvienko’s official visit to Vietnam, made at the invitation of NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, will greatly contribute to cooperation between the two parliaments, governments and peoples.

The two countries boast a time-tested friendship, and Vietnam always prioritises the enhancement of the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, he said.

He also noted with satisfaction the political relationship with special trust, which has been consolidated through delegation exchanges, particularly at high levels. Both sides have also maintained close coordination at international meetings.

Expressing his delight at the growing ties between the two legislatures, PM Phuc welcomed efforts by the foreign ministries to devise and effectively implement prioritised tasks for 2017 to boost bilateral relations in a more substantive, effective and comprehensive manner.

Relevant ministries and sectors of Vietnam and Russia should work together more closely and effectively carry out the Vietnam – Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), thereby making breakthroughs to raise bilateral trade to 10 billion USD by 2020, he said.

He asked the Russian parliament to supervise the FTA realisation and help to soon issue internal documents necessary for the deal to be implemented in line with Russia’s legal regulations.

He also told the Russian side to support the early signing of an agreement on food safety control to facilitate Vietnam’s export of agricultural and aquatic products to Russia.

His country hopes the Russian parliament, authorised agencies, and relevant localities to assist the implementation of a Vietnamese light industry zone project, investment projects of the TH True Milk group, and investment activities of other Vietnamese businesses there, the host leader said.

Aside from oil and gas cooperation projects, Vietnam also supports Russia’s involvement in its energy projects (hydropower and renewable energy) and infrastructure projects (railway, metro).

At the meeting, PM Phuc affirmed his country always considers Russia as a prioritised partner in military technique cooperation, and it wants to expand collaboration in defence-security with Russia.

He thanked the Russian parliament and Government for helping the Southeast Asian nation in manpower training and planning to increase the number of scholarships for Vietnam to 1,000 each year. The two sides should continue considering the establishment of a Russian university in Vietnam while pressing on with teaching Russian here.

Vietnam will actively support the organisation of the Russian Culture Days in Vietnam this year, the leader said, adding that it is providing e-visas for Russian citizens and hopes that the number of Russian tourists to Vietnam will keep rising in the time ahead.

Speaking highly of locality-to-locality cooperation through the connection of the Russian Federal Council, the PM hoped that this connection will remain effective to help with partnerships in mining, energy and people-to-people exchange.

He also thanked and asked Russia to continue giving fabourable conditions for Vietnamese people to live and do stable, legal and long-term business in the country, and integrate into local society.

For her part, Chairwoman Matvienko congratulated Vietnam on its socio-economic and diplomatic achievements, stressing that her visit to Vietnam aims to tighten cooperation with the Vietnamese NA and people in the spirit of the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Vietnam posts a high growth rate in Asia-Pacific, which illustrates the right directions in its socio-economic development solutions, she said.

Highlighting the two peoples’ traditional relationship and friendship, she also voiced her delight at the vigorous growth in bilateral ties

She asked both sides to continue capitalising on their respective potential to maximise the strategic partnership. They should increase delegation exchanges, especially at high levels. Meanwhile, the two Governments need to work more closely to improve the effectiveness of joint programmes and projects in all spheres, especially economics and trade, so as to bring bilateral relations on par with their potential.

Matvienko called for more cultural and people-to-people exchanges, diversify economic and trade partnerships to optimise the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union FTA.

Russia wants to bolster affiliation with Vietnam in oil refinery, petrochemistry, and liquefied gas which are Russia’s advantages, she noted, suggesting the two sides promote cooperation in agriculture and trading agricultural products since both are potential markets.

The Chairwoman underlined the traditional cooperation in education-training as a number of Vietnamese people used to study in Russia. She said her country is willing to assist Vietnam to teach Russian in the ASEAN nation and wants Vietnam to facilitate the organisation of the Russian Culture Days here.

Russia attaches importance to its enterprises’ investment and business projects in Vietnam. It hopes that the local Government and relevant agencies to create optimal conditions for them to operate smoothly, helping to intensify the countries’ cooperation in a result-oriented fashion, she added. -VNA