Long-time allies Vietnam and Russia have pledged to deepen commercial trade ties with an emphasis on co-operation in the energy sector, according to a joint statement released after President Tran Duc Luong’s recent visit to Moscow.

Russia helped nurture Vietnam’s oil industry in the 1970s soon after the withdrawal of the Americans. The small output from its offshore fields along with Russian financial and military aid helped Vietnam pull through the early post-war years of independence when much of the country’s economy had been devastated by war.

According to the Vietnam News Services (VNS), Mr Luong and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed on the need for increased Russian involvement in building new energy projects in Vietnam and suggested greater co-operation in peaceful and civilian nuclear use.

The two nations agreed to continue seeking new opportunities to increase trade and to narrow Russia’s trade surplus with Vietnam. The two sides will look at promising sectors like coal, chemicals, drugs, transport, satellite communications, information technology, education and training with Vietnam hoping to send more students to Russia in future.

VNS reported thar the two sides will soon complete documents regulating fixed-term labour for each other’s citizens.

Taking aim at the US, the statement said the two nations agreed on most international and regional issues and vowed to strengthen their partnership to strive for an “equal and democratic world order.”
Strengthening the central role of the United Nations in world issues will best serve the interests of preserving international peace and security, it said.
The statement also called for an early return of stability and sovereignty in Iraq and self-determination for the Iraqi people.