Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich (Souce: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - A high-ranking delegation of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence led by Minister-General Ngo Xuan Lich left for an official visit to Russia on April 23.

The visit is being made at the invitation of Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu.

On this occasion, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Duc Hai, Director of the National Defence Strategy Institute, wrote an article highlighting the defence ties between Vietnam and Russia.

In his article, the officer said defence cooperation is an integral part of the two countries’ relationship and seen as a symbol of their friendship.

Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation received the great support of the international community, including the former Soviet Union, which granted comprehensive aid to the country, especially during crucial periods of the war.

Following political uncertainties in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Vietnam and Russia have continued to attach importance to their multi-faceted and mutually beneficial cooperation, which includes their defence ties, as evidenced through the signing of various cooperation agreements in strategic fields, including technical-military.

Since the bilateral relationship was lifted to a strategic partnership in 2001, and a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2006, the defence ties have developed strongly, Hai said.

Apart from increasing the exchange of visits, the two sides have built and maintained their consultation and exchange mechanisms, through which they have shared their views on world, and regional security, and other issues of mutual concern, and discussed specific measures to advance their defence links.

He noted that between 2008 and 2013, Vietnamese and Russian Defence Ministers exchanged four high-level official visits, affirming the two countries’ strategic partnership in the sphere of national defence.

The strategic defence dialogue mechanism at the deputy minister level between Vietnam and Russia is the vivid evidence for the strategic relationship, Hai said, adding that through the mechanism, the two countries’ armies have built mutual trust and understanding, creating a new momentum for their cooperation and friendship.

Besides this, they have also joined hands in officer training, peace keeping and scientific research.

Of note, bilateral cooperation in the defence industry is going along smoothly, Hai said, adding that Vietnam has singed an agreement to purchase a number of modern weapons and equipment from Russia.

Multilaterally, Vietnam and Russia have stepped up their coordination at regional and international forums such as the UN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN+ and the East Asia Summit.

Particularly, they have actively partnered with each other within the framework of the A SEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+) , contributing to maintaining peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

To make the defence ties match the two countries’ potential and suit the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership, Hai suggested the two sides expand cooperation content, spanning the realms of defence strategy, technical-military and exchanges between units.

In the same vein, they should increase the exchange of high-ranking delegations, expand cooperation mechanisms and foster their affiliation in maritime security, especially in areas of Russia’s strengths like ship building and equipment production, as well as in technology and cyber-security training.

The officer also called on the two sides to enhance their collaboration in overcoming consequences caused by bombs and mines left from the war, enhancing medical-military exchanges, UN peace-keeping missions, and at regional and international forums.-VNA