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Vietnam backs Russia’s ‘Look East’ policy

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has said Vietnam supports Russia’s active role in the international community and its “Look East” policy, said local news reports.

During his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hanoi today afternoon (June 20), he said a peaceful, independent, strong Vietnam with growing prestige aligns with Russia’s long-term interests in the Asia-Pacific and the world.

He expressed hopes that Putin and Russia would continue to support maintaining peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.

He emphasised the importance of respecting Vietnam’s legitimate rights and interests and the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and working toward a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

In discussing the Ukraine situation, the Party chief said Vietnam expects an early dialogue and cessation of hostilities, and that negotiations should be resumed to find a peaceful resolution in accordance with international law, and ensure the legitimate interests of all parties involved.

Vietnam is ready to actively contribute to promoting dialogues and negotiations in this direction, he said.

He stressed Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of external ties, including the strengthening of relations with neighboring countries, and enhancing and deepening bilateral cooperation with strategic partners, comprehensive partners and other important partners.

He also reiterated Vietnam’s adherence to the “four nos” defence policy, which means no to joining in military alliances, no to taking sides with one country to act against another, no to foreign military bases in the Vietnamese territory or no to using Vietnam as leverage to counteract other countries, and no to using force or threatening to use force in international relations.

He said that Vietnam treasures its traditional relationship and comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, considering it a top priority in foreign policy.

Putin’s June 19-20 visit comes as the two countries are marking the 30th signing anniversary of the Treaty on Principles of Friendly Relations between Vietnam and Russia, toward the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

Putin described the comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam as a priority in Russia’s foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific, saying that his visit would generate new momentum in the time-tested bilateral relationship.

He emphasised the need to resolve global and regional issues in line with international law and the United Nations Charter, and the support to the peaceful settlement of disputes, including those in the East Sea.

In the energy and oil sectors, the two leaders pledged to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese and Russian companies to carry out existing and new projects. They also promised to boost collaboration in agriculture, education, culture, tourism, and people-to-people and locality-to-locality exchanges.

On the occasion, Vietnam and Russia issued a joint statement on further deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership, building on the achievements of the past three decades.

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