Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung received visiting Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in Hanoi on November 16.

Trong described the visit as an important event marking a new development in the comprehensive cooperation and partnership that exists between Vietnam and Ukraine .

He stressed that Vietnam values its traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Ukraine .

The Party leader also affirmed that the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) attaches importance to consolidating and strengthening ties with political parties in Ukraine , including the Party of Regions.

For his part, Mykola Azarov said that Ukraine sees Vietnam as its traditional and significant partner in the Asia-Pacific region. He expressed his wish that with efforts from both sides, economic-trade relations between the two countries will be promoted in the near future.

He stressed that the Party of Regions treasures ties with the CPV and will make every effort to implement the signed cooperation agreement between the two parties.

Meeting with the Ukrainian PM, President Sang said that Vietnam will never forget the valuable assistance the European country provided in the past.

As two-way trade between the two countries is yet to match their potential, Vietnam and Ukraine should speed up negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and use it as a driving force for development of bilateral economic cooperation, he noted.

He expressed his belief that Ukrainian firms will work well with their Vietnamese counterparts in such fields as energy and mining.

Mykola Azarov affirmed that strengthening relations with Vietnam is a priority in Ukraine ’s foreign policy.

Vietnam boasts great marine resources, and Ukraine is ready to cooperate with the Southeast Asian country in seafood and shipbuilding industries, he said.

The two countries’ cooperation will see breakthroughs in the coming time as they accelerate negotiations for the signing of the FTA and the Investment Protection Agreement, he continued.

While receiving the Ukrainian PM, NA Chairman Hung stated that the Vietnamese legislature will do its utmost to support relations between the two Governments to continuously advance the Vietnam-Ukraine friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

He expressed his wish for the two parliaments to ceaselessly enhance cooperation, making important contributions to consolidating and strengthening the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two nations.

Vietnam is willing to bridge relations between Ukraine and ASEAN countries for peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large, he affirmed.

Azarov spoke highly of Vietnam ’s role and position in the ASEAN community, especially in maintaining regional growth in a difficult world economy.

He wished for further cooperation activities between the two legislatures, particularly in the Friendship Parliamentarians’ Groups, which will ensure more effective cooperation programmes and projects between the two sides.

Vietnam and Ukraine issued a joint communiqué on Azarov’s visit and the Ukrainian leader left Hanoi in the afternoon of November 16, concluding his two-day official visit to Vietnam./.VNA