Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) receives Katanandov Sergey Leonidovich, special envoy of the governor of Saint Petersburg, on June 29 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan received a delegation from Saint Petersburg city of Russia on June 29, describing their working visit as an illustration of the cities’ respect for the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Russia.

He thanked Saint Petersburg’s administration for creating favourable conditions for HCM City officials’ working trip last May, which opened opportunities for bilateral cooperation in many potential areas.

He said HCM City and Saint Petersburg should step up implementing the cooperation roadmap for 2018-2020, including prioritising the establishment of a cultural-economic centre of HCM City in Saint Petersburg and a similar centre of the Russian city in the southern hub of Vietnam.

Nhan also called on Saint Petersburg to bolster ties in health care, grant scholarships for ballet and symphony music students of Vietnam, and organise a week of HCM City goods in the city.

Regarding educational cooperation, the HCM City leader asked for more attention to teaching Vietnamese in Saint Petersburg and Russian in HCM City. He also suggested Russian be taught at high schools and universities toward adding Russian studies to the curricula of local universities.

He welcomed the initiative to connect the two cities’ youths, noting that youth exchanges are necessary as they will boost mutual understanding, solidarity and friendship between future generations of Vietnam and Russia, helping strengthen the time-tested amity between the two countries and between HCM City and Saint Petersburg in particular.

For his part, Katanandov Sergey Leonidovich, special envoy of the governor of Saint Petersburg on issues regarding national building and development and cooperation with Russian agencies, said their working visit from June 27 to 30 aims to realise the roadmap for bilateral cooperation for 2018-2020, which was signed last May.

Their working sessions with local departments, sectors and agencies obtained positive outcomes, especially in cooperation in cyber security, youth-related work, people-to-people diplomacy, education-training, and health care.

He added that he is proud to represent Saint Petersburg leaders to attend the programme marking 95 years since President Ho Chi Minh, known as Nguyen Ai Quoc then, set foot in Russia for the first time. The late leader’s arrival in Petrograd, now Saint Petersburg, was an important milestone laying a foundation for the cooperation and friendship between Russia and Vietnam, including between the two cities.

Earlier, the Saint Petersburg delegation visited some relic sites in HCM City and laid a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh statue in front of the municipal People’s Committee headquarters.-VNA