Launch of Russian Culture Days in Vietnam 2013-11-12 17:45:00 Hanoi Vladimir Putin spoke at the opening ceremony of the Days of Russian Culture in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Before the ceremony, the President of Russia and President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang visited the exhibit entitled Russian- Vietnamese Relations Through the Lenses of ITAR-TASS and the VNA [Vietnam News Agency]. The photo exhibit was organised by the two countries’ news agencies for the Days of Russian Culture in Vietnam. *** President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends, It gives me great pleasure to speak at the opening ceremony of the Days of Russian Culture in Vietnam. I am confident that the planned events will help further strengthen our bilateral relations. Russia and Vietnam truly are strategic partners. Our countries cooperate dynamically in political, economic and humanitarian spheres. We are implementing major projects in investment, science, education and other fields. Long traditions of friendship and mutual understanding constitute the core of such a long and fruitful collaboration. We were together during the struggle for Vietnam’s independence, and during the postwar revival. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese citizens were educated in our universities and have a good command of the Russian language. Russian writers, artists and filmmakers are well-known in Vietnam; people here like Russian classical and folk music. I’m sure that our Culture Days will generate a lot of interest in Vietnam. Each year the programme becomes fuller. This time the Days of Russian Culture coincide with screenings of Russian films, and the famous Pyatnitsky Choir and leading opera singers will perform in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The Russian Museum of Ethnography brought an exhibition of traditional costumes and crafts to Vietnam. The State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow will host an exhibition on the work of the famous Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. It is no coincidence that this museum is showcasing him; Roerich dedicated his entire life to the East. We will continue to promote the expansion of bilateral cultural exchanges, especially since interest in Vietnamese art and history is growing in my country. Russians want to know more about Vietnam’s unique literary and musical heritage, its ancient architectural monuments and your nation’s distinctive traditions. So I’m sure that the Hanoi Days, which will take place in Moscow in late November, will meet with great success. We look forward to seeing Vietnamese performers during the Days of Vietnamese Culture in Russia, scheduled for 2014. We will have plenty of other opportunities and occasions to implement new cultural and educational projects together. Several important historical dates await us: 2014 is the 20th anniversary of signing the Friendship Treaty, and 2015 is the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s unification, and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. I am sure that in the future Russian-Vietnamese partnership and mutual understanding will only grow stronger. In conclusion, let me thank the organisers of the Russian Culture Days for their preparatory work, and sincerely wish participants and guests many vivid impressions. Thank you.