Sixty-five years ago, what was then the Soviet Union became one of the first countries to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam , marking a milestone in bilateral ties between the two nations and laying the foundation for a flourishing friendship, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has stated.

In his articled dubbed “Vietnam-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: 65-year Path” released on the occasion of the 65 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties between the two countries (January 30, 1950-2015), Deputy PM Minh gave an overall perspective on the history and current status of the Vietnam-Russia relationship, as well as potential future cooperative opportunities.

Effective political, economic and military support that the Soviet Union gave to Vietnam during its struggle for independence, freedom and reunification played a significant role in the final victory in the spring of 1975, he noted.

Furthermore, tens of thousands of Vietnamese officials and experts have been trained in Russia, becoming integral forces for Vietnam ’s “doi moi” (reform) process, he reiterated, adding that the Soviet Union’s assistance also contributed to boosting the development of various sectors in Vietnam , especially energy, industry, agriculture, and science and technology.

Since Vietnam and Russia established their Strategic Partnership in 2011, then elevated to a Comprehensive Partnership in 2012, their cooperation has yielded fruitful outcomes.

The Deputy PM asserted that highlights of relations between Vietnam and Russia are their developed trust and diverse affiliation forms. Both sides have an annual high-level meeting mechanism and close coordination at international forums, especially at the United Nations and organisations with ASEAN playing a central role, Minh noted.

Economic collaboration has also been growing across the four key pillars of trade, investment, oil and gas, and electricity. Trade between the nations surged to nearly 3 billion USD in 2014 from only 500 million USD in 2001, he said, adding that negotiations towards a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus finished with a statement in this regard issued in December 2014.

Rising oil and gas affiliations have also fuelled the respective economies, he said, noting the new milestone in nuclear power collaboration with construction of the first nuclear power plant in Vietnam .

The Deputy PM also underlined the importance of bilateral defence-security and military technology cooperation between Vietnam and Russia , as well as promoting the traditional friendship and mutual support to contribute to peace, stability and progress in the region and the world, he concluded.

On the occasion of the 65 th anniversary of Vietnam-Russia diplomatic relations, Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov also wrote an article highlighting the glorious 65-year relationship between the two countries.

The diplomat reviewed important benchmarks of the time-honoured relationship, including the establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership during the first visit to Vietnam by President V. Putin in March 2001, and the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to Russia in July 2012.

Lavrov held that trade between the two sides is rapidly expanding, with expectations to exceed 10 billion USD in 2020.

He underscored that Russia considers cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region a strategic priority, fortified through their coordination with Vietnam .

He also expressed belief that through joint efforts, the two countries will achieve mutually-beneficial successes for peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.-VNA