Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on November 25 had a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi city, during which they agreed to work harder to raise bilateral trade to 7 billion USD by 2015 and 10 billion USD by 2020.

PM Medvedev, who is also leader of the ruling United Russia Party, pledged to speed up negotiations for a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan so that it can be signed in 2015, paving the way for the flows of goods, services and investments between the two countries.

The two leaders expressed delight at the growing bilateral cooperation in energy, especially oil and gas and nuclear power, which they described as an area of strategic significance to both nations.

They committed to create the most favourble conditions for Vietnamese and Russian state oil and gas firms to operate in their respective territories by reducing taxes and expanding operational areas.

The two sides will increase cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam’s continental shelf in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They will step up negotiations for a deal of expanding and modernising the Dung Quat oil refinery and join hands with Vietnam in implementing the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant to ensure utmost safety, quality and efficiency for the project.

PM Medvedev declared that Russia will make it easier for Vietnamese agro-forestry and fishery products to enter its market while considering a flexible conversion between the currencies of Russia and Vietnam in order to facilitate payments and transactions between their businesses.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring and wishing to strengthening and consolidating its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, considering the European country as one of its top important and reliable partners.

The Communist Party of Vietnam is keen on bolstering the friendship and sound cooperation with the United Russia party, he stated.

The Party chief thanked the Russian Government and PM Medvedev for supporting the Vietnamese community in the country, suggesting that in the future, Russia create more favourable conditions for the community to get their legal residence in Russia .

He proposed that Russia back the operation of the Hanoi-Moscow Centre for Culture, Trade and Hotel (INCENTRA) in Russia as well as an air route linking Vietnam and Vladivostok.

Both host and guest noted with pleasure that both countries share similar viewpoints in many international and regional matters of mutual concern and show their close coordination and mutual support at forums in the region and the world.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said Vietnam is willing to support Russia in increasing its role in issues related to the maintenance of peace, stability, security and cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as well.

Meanwhile, PM Medvedev vowed that Russia will back Vietnam’s bid for a seat in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2016-18 tenure and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-21 tenure.

Regarding the East Sea issue, both sides agreed that all disputes at sea should be settled through peaceful measures in respect for international law, including the UNCLOS 1982, and the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).-VNA