Russia’s Pravda newspaper remarked Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Russia as a historical milestone in bilateral relations in an article featuring the event.

The article, posted on November 21, quoted Leonid Kalashnikov, First Deputy Chairman of the Russia’s State Duma Committee for International Affairs and a representative of the Russia Communist Party at the State Duma, as stating that the time-honoured Vietnam-Russia relations are growing in all fields.

Leonid Kalashnikov cited Vietnam’s enthusiastic preparation for joining the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, the two countries’ organisation of various cultural events and exchanges, and the maintenance of visits by communist party officials.

The paper quoted Chairman of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association Vladimir Buyanov as saying that the two countries’ relations constitute the strategic comprehensive partnership and Russia always support developing ties with Vietnam in all areas.

Meanwhile, Anton Stvetov from the Russia International Affairs Council, said along with China and India, Vietnam is defined in President V. Putin’s decrees issued in May 2012 as a key partner of Russia.

However, he cited Putin’s words as saying that the two countries’ economic partnership has yet to match their political relations. Russia’s trade with Vietnam accounts for only 0.5 percent of its foreign trade while the country contributes only 1 percent of Vietnam’s trade revenue.

Ilya Usov, an independent expert, said the Vietnamese leader’s visit to Russia is significant for Russia and Vietnam since both are keen on garnering more outside support.

Alexandre Sokolovski, Director of the Vietnam Culture-Education Centre at the Far Eastern Federal University, said General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit is crucial for the continued expansion of Vietnam-Russia cooperation.

He said he believes that the Vietnam-Russia ties that stood the test of time will be growing further.

On November 22, the Euro Presse Image (EPI) news agency ran a story giving positive comments on the Party chief’s visit to Russia and Belarus from November 23-28.

The Vietnamese leader’s visit would contribute to fostering and deepening bilateral partnership in all areas, including politics, security, economics, science-technology, culture, education, tourism and aviation, said the article.

Particularly, the visit would pave the way for Vietnam to become the first partner to reach a free trade agreement with the Customs Unions of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in 2015, it added.

On bilateral cooperation in energy, the article noted that joint projects in oil and gas are being effectively implemented in both Vietnam and Russia , benefiting both sides.

The two countries also agreed to continue collaboration in building and upgrading power plants in Vietnam, including the construction of the first ever nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan, it said.-VNA