The national news agency of Belarus, BelTA, on November 26 praised the Vietnam-Belarus traditional relationship and hailed the outcomes of the talks between Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during the former’s visit to the country.

The agency quoted President Lukashenko as saying that Belarus considers developing ties with Vietnam one of the priorities in its foreign policy in Asia and wishes to bring bilateral relations to a new level of development.

As a member of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan , Belarus will work to accelerate the negotiations for the early signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Union , he said.

The signing of the agreement was also covered by the Belgian press on November 25-26. The Euro Presse Images website ( ) quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that negotiations for the deal are going to be concluded and Vietnam is likely to be the first country that Russia will sign with.

Russia now ranks 19 th among 100 countries and territories investing in Vietnam . Once the FTA is reached, Russia will triple its trade with Vietnam to 10 billion USD in 2015.

“Le Soir” and “La Bibre”, two French dailies of Belgium , stressed Putin’s statement that Moscow and Hanoi have agreed to facilitate the entry of Vietnamese farm produce into the Russian market. The formation of a free trade zone between the Customs Union and Vietnam will help push bilateral cooperation forward.

The Belgian press also praised collaboration between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Russia ’s Zarubezhneft and Gazprom Neft set up during General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit.-VNA