Statement for the press after Russian-Vietnamese talks 2014-11-25 17:15:00 Sochi President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, We have just completed our talks with the General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong. These were friendly talks held in an atmosphere of trust. The relations between Russia and Vietnam are those of a comprehensive strategic partnership. Prospects for their further development are reflected in the joint statement we made today. We maintain a constant political dialogue at all levels. During our talks, we had a detailed discussion of a broad range of issues of bilateral cooperation and set plans for the future. The main accent was on expanding trade and investment cooperation. In 2013 Russian-Vietnamese trade turnover went up by 8.5 percent to reach almost $4 billion. The plans we discussed today would make it possible to reach a trade turnover of $10 billion in the next few years. We have created various effective cooperation mechanisms. Among them is the so-called high-level working group, which has prepared 17 investment projects worth a total $20 billion. The creation of a free trade zone between the Customs Union member-states and Vietnam will definitely serve to deepen our cooperation. Negotiations on this are entering their final stage. Our partnership in the oil and gas sector serves as a good example of our fruitful relations. Gazprom, Rosneft and Zarubezhneft are all successfully working in Vietnam. The company Vietsovpetro – the flagship of our cooperation – has produced 210 million tons of oil over the years of its existence. This cooperation has good prospects and joint work is underway on both the territory of Vietnam and Russia. Nuclear power is a strategic area. We had a detailed discussion of the issues pertaining to the construction of the first nuclear power station in Vietnam with the participation of Rosatom. We are consistently working to create a Nuclear Science and Technology Centre in Hanoi. A corresponding framework agreement was signed in October. We intend to further enhance our cooperation in such areas as electric energy industry, machine-building, mining and railroad construction. We have agreed to step up shipments of Vietnamese agricultural produce and seafood to Russia. Our cooperation in the financial sphere is also growing stronger. The Vietnamese-Russian bank is operating successfully and work is underway to expand mutual payments in national currencies. Our cooperation in telecommunications is very promising. We are negotiating the joint use of the GLONASS global navigation system, with a monitoring station to be set up in Vietnam. Today, as you have seen, we have signed a number of agreements. We intend to enhance our cooperation in education, science and technology. The Russian-Vietnamese Tropical Centre is a good example of our cooperation. It serves as a base for important research in biology, environmental studies, medicine and material engineering. Some 6 thousand students from Vietnam currently study in Russia. This year we have issued 600 study grants for citizens of Vietnam, next year the number will grow to 700, to reach 1000 by 2020. We are considering the possibility of creating a Vietnamese-Russian technological university in Hanoi. We attach great importance to developing humanitarian contacts. Thus, in November 2013 Days of Russian Culture were held in Vietnam and in June of this year the Russian Federation hosted days of Vietnamese culture. I am certain that the Days of Hanoi in Moscow will also be a success. The number of Russian tourists travelling to Vietnam is growing, from 298 thousand people in 2013 to an expected 400 thousand this year. We find it very important to coordinate our foreign policy actions. Our approaches to the resolution of many global and regional issues almost coincide. In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong for a fruitful and frank exchange of views. I am convinced that the agreements we have reached will serve to further strengthen the Russian-Vietnamese strategic partnership. Thank you for your attention.