Minister of National Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu (Source: VNA)
Moscow  (VNA) –Vietnam’s Minister of National Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich and his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu emphasised the need for the two countries to realise defence cooperation agreements they have reached while increasing mutual support at international forums.

During their talks in Moscow on April 25, the two ministers said cooperation in military training plays a key role in bilateral ties, adding that many Vietnamese officers are studying in Russia.

The Russian side said they are considering sending officers to Vietnam for training.

They affirmed their resolve to consolidate and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Shoigu appreciated Lich’s first visit to Russia in his capacity as the Vietnamese Defence Minister, stressing that Russia regards Vietnam as an important partner.

Russia is willing to enhance its collaboration with Vietnam in national defence, he noted.

Lich said Vietnam considers Russia a close friend and places bilateral ties among its top foreign policy priorities.

Vietnam always remembers the support of the Government and people of the former Soviet Union, including present-day Russia, in the country’s struggle for independence as well in national construction.

Vietnam will continue cooperating with Russia to meet the interests of the two countries’ people and contribute to peace and stability in each region, he said.

The minister reiterated Vietnam’s stance on disputes in the East Sea, which, he said, should be settled by peaceful measures and on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and towards reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Lich used the occasion to invite his Russian counterpart to visit Vietnam at a suitable time. Shoigu accepted the invitation with pleasure.

As part of his visit to Russia, the Vietnamese minister had a bilateral meeting with his Lao counterpart Sen. Lieut. Gen. Chansamone Channhalat on the same day.

Lich expressed his belief that solidarity between Vietnam and Laos will help strengthen each nation.

The Vietnamese Party, people and army will stand side by side with the Party, people and army of Laos in any circumstance, he said.

Hailing Laos’ s preparations for international conferences in 2016 when the country assumes the ASEAN Chair, Lich said Vietnam is ready to assist the country in this effort.

The General suggested the two sides step up border exchanges and cooperation in Party and political work, personnel training and communication activities.

Chansamone Channhalat said Laos is ready to aid Vietnam in repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who died in the country during war.

He invited Lich to visit Laos in the coming time. The Vietnamese minister accepted the invitation with pleasure.

On April 24, Minister Lich paid floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue in Moscow and visited the Vietnamese Military Attache Office in Russia.-VNA