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Vietnam, Russia to deepen energy and defense relations

By Khanh Lynh   September 8, 2018 | 12:04 am PT
Vietnam, Russia to deepen energy and defense relations
Vietnam's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R). Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
Vietnam and Russia have agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in hydrocarbon exploration, extraction and production, as also defense ties.

The agreement was reached during the official visit to Russia by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

“Vietnam and Russia will continue to provide opportunities to expand businesses’ operations regarding hydrocarbon refining and petrochemistry on both countries’ territories, as well as to build new power stations running on natural gas,” said a joint statement issued during the visit this week.

The two countries also agreed to expand hydrocarbon exploration and extraction operations on Vietnam’s continental shelf in accordance with international law.

It said the construction of two natural gas power stations in the central provinces of Quang Tri and Binh Thuan was also discussed.

Vietnam and Russia have long-standing cooperation in hydrocarbon exploration and extraction, with firms like Vietsovpetro, Rusvietpetro, Vietgazprom and Gazpromviet at the forefront of projects in these fields.

Trong and Russian President Vladimir Putin also agreed to boost cooperation on national security and defense.

They affirmed that disputes within the Asia-Pacific region should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (COC).

The COC is still being negotiated. The South China Sea is known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Both sides also agreed to boost dialogue within regional forums like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM+), emphasizing ASEAN’s central role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bilateral trade ties between Vietnam and Russia has seen significant growth in recent years, especially after the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Free Trade Agreement took effect in 2016.

Bilteral trade turnover reached $3.55 billion last year, a 30 percent increase over 2016.

Currently, Russia has 117 investment projects in Vietnam with a registered capital of $931 million. Russia is currently ranked 23rd in the list of countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Vietnam has 13 investment projects in Russia with a registered capital of almost $3 billion. Among these is a milk processing factory by food firm TH in the Kaluga industrial complex in Kaluga District.

The TH factory, with a daily capacity of 1,500 tons, broke ground last Friday. The factory is part of a $2.7 billion hi-tech dairy farming and milk-processing project being implemented by TH in Russia.

Trong’s four-day official visit to Russia concluded Saturday.

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