National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (right) and visiting Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The top legislators of Vietnam and Russia have agreed that the parliamentary cooperation is one of the important pillars of the partnership between Vietnam and Russia.

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and visiting Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin reached the consensus during their talks in Hanoi on December 24.

The collaboration between the Vietnamese NA and the State Duma in particular and the Federal Assembly in general has developed fruitfully over the past time, both bilaterally and multilaterally, they said.

The two sides have actively implemented a cooperation agreement signed in 2013, while regularly maintaining the exchange of high-ranking delegations and those of the legislatures’ agencies and friendship parliamentarians’ groups as well as sharing experience in legislation and supervision, thus improving the operational efficiency of each country’s parliament. They have also coordinated with and supported each other at multilateral parliamentary cooperation mechanisms.

The State Duma Chairman said the two countries’ parliamentary ties should continue to be fostered. The two sides need to create a new foundation in the legislation field in order to create a momentum for the bilateral relations to further thrive in the future.

Sharing the outcomes of his meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Russian guest said the two sides exchanged views on several projects and experience in building e-government and the digital economy. He affirmed that the Russian side is ready to support Vietnam in these fields.

The leaders agreed that tourism cooperation between the two countries has seen gigantic development, with increases in the numbers of Russian visitors to Vietnam and Vietnamese arrivals to Russia.

According to the State Duma Chairman, in 2017, 512,000 Russians visited Vietnam and the figure rose to over 700,000 this year. Russia is expected to be named in the top 10 sources of visitors to Vietnam.

Russia is also willing to provide more scholarships to Vietnam to train Russian language teachers in high schools, in addition to 1,000 scholarships provided for Vietnamese students, he added.

NA Chairwoman Ngan spoke highly of Russia’s increase of scholarships for Vietnam, expressing her belief that this is an important human resource for Vietnam as well as a firm foundation for the closer friendship between the two nations in the future.

She thanked the Russian people for giving their good sentiments and valuable assistance to Vietnam during the national construction and defence.

Vietnam always treasures and prioritises consolidating its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, and wishes to bolster the effective cooperation between the two countries and their localities in all fields, she said.

Both host and guest agreed with pleasure that the bilateral political ties have been continuously consolidated via the regular exchange of all-level delegations. They expressed their belief that together with the Russia visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in September and the visit to Vietnam by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in November, this visit by the Chairman of the State Duma will create a strong driving force to boost the two nations’ all-round collaboration.

The top legislator used the occasion to thank Russia for backing Vietnam’s run for non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

Both noted with pleasure progress made in the bilateral economic, trade and investment ties since the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) took effect in October 2016, with two-way trade reaching 3.55 billion USD in 2017 and 3.85 billion USD in the first ten months of this year.

NA Chairwoman Ngan suggested the two countries fully tap potential for economic, trade and investment cooperation, making it match with the sound political relations, optimise advantages generated by the Vietnam-EAEU FTA, and remove non-tariff barriers, especially those against farm produce and seafood.

The affiliation in energy, especially oil and gas, should continue to be an important pillar of the Vietnam-Russia cooperation, she said, lauding the plan to expand collaboration between oil and gas companies of the two countries in such spheres as liquefied natural gas (LNG), electrification and motor fuel production, she said.

She added that the two countries hold substantial potential for cooperation in the high-tech sector, covering e-Government building in Vietnam and the development of the global navigation satellite system (GLONASS).

Achievements have also been recorded in partnerships in national defence and security, military technology, education-training, science-technology, culture and tourism, the leader said.

She stressed Vietnam’s support for the initiative to establish the inter-parliamentary cooperation committee between the Vietnamese NA and the State Duma, and expressed her belief that the committee will operate effectively, contributing to enhancing coordination between the two legislatures.

Host and guest agreed that the committee will meet annually in rotation except one of them has other suggestions. The first meeting is slated for 2019 in Vietnam.

V.V.Volodin invited Ngan to pay an official visit to Russia at an early date. The Vietnamese top legislator accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Following their talks, the leaders signed an agreement on the establishment of the inter-parliamentary cooperation committee, which aims to promote cooperation between the two legislative bodies.

It is also expected to create conditions for the two sides to exchange experience in legislation, supervision and decision making on major national matters and join hands in inter-parliamentary activities within international organisations and conferences, covering cooperation in Asia-Europe.

The committee will also work to help expand and enhance cooperation between Vietnam and Russia across fields and assist the supervision of the implementation of valid international treaties between the two countries.

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (right) and Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin host the joint press conference. (Photo: VNA)

At their joint press conference later, Ngan said the State Duma delegation’s visit is very significant and a continuation of visit exchange to bolstering the extensive cooperation between the two countries and their legislative bodies, adding that it marks a new development step in the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia.

She said the Vietnamese National Assembly and the State Duma will do their utmost to support the bilateral cooperation across the fields and provide a favourable legal framework to step up the trade, economic, investment, and tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges at all levels.

“The outstanding result of this visit is the signing of an agreement on the establishment of the inter-parliamentary cooperation committee between the National Assembly and the State Duma. The Vietnam National Assembly has for the first time formed such a bilateral inter-parliamentary mechanism with another parliament,” said Ngan.

“The new mechanism demonstrates the political trust between the two countries’ leaders as well as the determination to boost the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. It will allow the two countries to increase their partnership in fields with potentials, especially the parliamentary cooperation, thus taking the two country’s traditional cooperation to the next level,” she added.

The State Duma Chairman added that the inter-parliamentary cooperation committee is a new cooperative form that will create more impetus for the development of cooperation between the two sides in various fields, including the digital economy. It will become a new platform to seek new cooperative fields for the two countries in the future.

As Vietnam and Russia have involved in the comprehensive strategic partnership, the relations between the two parliamentary agencies need to be boosted so it will contribute to promoting friendship, mutual understanding and trust, he said.

 “We are working towards implementing agreements reached by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President V. Putin in September, 2018 and those between Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Dmitry Medvedev. The two countries’ parliaments need to step up the development pace of the bilateral ties using the existing cooperative forms and work together to seek for new cooperative modes,” the State Duma leader said.

At noon, Chairwoman Ngan hosted a banquet in honour of the State Duma Chairman V.V. Volodin.

Earlier on December 23, the State Duma delegation laid a wreath at the Monument for Martyrs, paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum, and visited the President Ho Chi Minh Relic Site in Hanoi.-VNA