Vietnam-Russia Joint Statement.

Vietnam, Russia sign Joint Statement, co-operation agreements

A Joint Statement for a Strategic Partnership between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Russian Federation was signed in Hanoi on March 1, by President Tran Duc Luong and President Putin.

The two presidents also witnessed the signing, and renewing of four bilateral co-operation agreements.

These were: An agreement for co-operation between the foreign trade banks of the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Vietnam's Search-and-Rescue Commission and Russia's Ministry for Militia Affairs, Emergencies and Settlement of Natural Disaster Consequences; agreement for co-operation in standardisation, measurements and certifications as well as co-operation in the mutual acknowledgement of trademarks and experimental results between Vietnam's Ministry of Sciences, Technology and Environment and Russia's State Commission for Standardisation and Measurement.

Also signed were a protocol attached to the agreement between the Vietnamese and Russian governments for continued co-operation in exploration and exploitation of oil and gas on Vietnam's southern continental shelf to be carried out by the joint venture enterprise Vietsovpetro agreed on July 17, 1991 and revaluation of the legal basis and validity of treaties and agreements signed by both countries to boost bilateral ties.

Joint Statement on strategic partnership

Following is the full text of a Joint Statement on Strategic Partnership between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Russian Federation, signed by President Tran Duc Luong and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hanoi on March 1.

At the invitation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's (SRV) President Tran Duc Luong, the Russian Federation's President V V Putin is making an official visit to the SRV from February 28 to March 2, 2001.

The two Heads of State have examined all aspects of Vietnam-Russia relations and noted with pleasure that these relations conform to the two people's basic interests. For more than 50 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties, the friendly and co-operative Vietnam-Russia ties have made active contributions to development and prosperity of the two countries and to regional and global peace, stability and co-operation. Vietnam and the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the two parties) affirm their resolve to continue to further consolidate and develop their traditional friendship and multi-faceted co-operation in the 21st century on the basis of a strategic partnership already established by the two.

1. The two parties hold that the Treaty on Principles of Friendly Relations between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Russian Federation signed on June 16, 1994; the Joint Vietnam-Russia Statement signed on August 25, 1998, and other bilateral documents signed by the two, serve as firm bases for strong development of their bilateral all-sided co-operative relations which are based on principles of respect for national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, non-intervention in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit.

2. The two parties will continue to maintain regular contacts at all levels, including the highest-level, aimed at exchanging views on important issues relating to their bilateral ties as well as regional and global issues.

3. The two parties will boost relations between the two countries' administrative agencies, broaden co-operation and exchanges between their socio-political organisations, including activities of the Vietnam-Russia and Russia-Vietnam Friendship Associations.

4. The two parties regard the development of economic-commercial, scientific-technical and investment ties on the basis of turning to good account all potential and experience of the two countries drawn from their co-operation over the past decades as a task of prime importance while boosting Vietnam-Russia ties.

5. The two parties hold that the result of their co-operation for many years now in the oil and gas sector serves as a firm ground for further development of their mutually-beneficial economic ties. The high efficiency of the joint venture enterprise Vietsovpetro in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam's southern continental shelf is the ground for the two countries to continue broadening the scope of co-operation in this sector through expansion of the joint venture's enterprise's operating areas and exploitation of new oil and gas fields in the SRV. The two governments will give priority to developing new projects in this sector with their prime and proper concern the construction and early operation of Vietnam's first oil refinery at Dung Quat.

6. The two parties are determined to promote their co-operation in electric energy, oil and gas, chemistry, mechanical engineering, metallurgy electronics, agriculture, communications, science and technology, culture, education and other prospective co-operation areas.

7. The two parties hold that diversified measures should be taken by both to expand their commercial ties, increase the exchange of goods and trade volumes to a new level commensurate with their existing potential. It is necessary to increase the State's help for all enterprises, promote economic, scientific, technical and cultural co-operation between SRV provinces and Russia's entities, with the leading role of external political relations organisations on the basis of the Agreement signed between the two governments on September 11, 2000.

8. The two parties will strengthen their co-operation in military supplies to meet Vietnam's and Russia's security demands and not to oppose any third country.

9. The two parties agree that it is essential to continue perfecting the activities of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-governmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technical Co-operation, considering this an important factor to promote the whole co-operative ties between the two countries in the new period.

10. Vietnam and the Russian Federation strongly support the reinforcement and development of positive trends of the world situation, stand for building a world of equality and fairness among nations for peace, stability and development of mankind, resolutely act against imposition and intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states in whatsoever forms, condemn any attempts to introduce the concept of 'humanitarian intervention' and 'restricted sovereignty' into international relations in order to justify military actions of a country or a group of countries as serious violations of basic principles of the United Nations Chapter and international laws and practices.

11. Both parties affirm their observance of the aim and principles of the United Nations' Charter, and the decisions of the Security Council on the basis of respect for the sovereignty of other countries and non-interference in their internal affairs. Both parties will coordinate in a constructive spirit to raise the efficiency of the UN activities in settling global issues and promoting co-operation among all nations in political, economic, social, scientific-technical, environmental, humanitarian and other domains in accordance with the decisions of the millennium summit conference and the millennium Statement of the UN.

Both parties acknowledge the dual effects of the process of economic globalisation. Together with the new opportunities for socio-economic development and more exchanges, the process of globalisation is also creating new challenges, especially for less-developed countries. Both parties affirm that they will coordinate more closely in order to contribute to reducing the negative consequences of this process. Both parties highly regard the chance of integrating into the system of world economic relations, and first of all, participating in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the establishment of an equal and fair world economic order.

12. Both parties agree to continue to contribute to consolidating peace and stability in the region and the world, maintaining and perfecting the present system of international treaties in the field of arms control and disarmament, thus ensuring security for mankind.

Vietnam supports the Russian Federation's efforts aimed at maintaining and consolidating the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty signed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States on May 26, 1972, considering it a basis for continuing to reduce strategic offensive weapons.

Vietnam welcomes the initiative made by the President of the Russian Federation in his November 13, 2000 statement on a programme to actively consolidate strategic stability and nuclear disarmament.

Both parties are resolved to co-operate on a bilateral as well as multilateral basis to oppose international terrorism, separatism, religious extremism and transnational crime which are currently posing serious threats to the security of sovereign states, peace and security in the world.

Both parties affirm the importance of international information safety as mentioned in Resolution 55/28 passed by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 2000.

13. Both parties believe that they should co-operate more closely to protect the global environment, preserve and rationally exploit natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations.

14. Both parties attach great importance to the maintenance of security and the consolidation of mutual trust in the Asia-Pacific region. Both parties hold that the deployment of Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) in the Asia-Pacific region can affect regional security and stability and create a new arms race.

Both parties emphasise the importance of, and support continued consultation among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the five nuclear powers through the currently available channels so that these countries could soon sign a protocol on the south-east Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, thus helping form a nuclear weapon-free zone in south-east Asia, consolidating the mechanism of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty signed in Geneva on July 1, 1968, and advancing towards a non-nuclear world.

Both parties highly value the role of regional forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the Shanghai Forum in creating a favourable atmosphere for multilateral co-operation for mutual benefits in the Asia-Pacific region.

Russia highly regards its relations with ASEAN and is resolved to develop its comprehensive co-operation with ASEAN on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, thus contributing to consolidating peace and stability in Southeast Asia. Russia supports a peaceful settlement of all differences and disputes in this region.

Russia fully supports and is ready to take part in co-operation projects within the framework of the Hanoi Plan of Action adopted by the sixth ASEAN Summit in Hanoi in December 1998, especially the projects in the fields of science-technology, communications and transport, energy and oil exploitation.

In view of the Russian Federation's Euro-Asian position, Vietnam supports Russia's aspiration to take part in activities of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and will help push for Russia's joining ASEM.

15. Both parties welcome the results of the inter-Korean summit in June 2000 and the new developments in the process of reconciliation between the two parts of Korea. Vietnam and Russia support the aspiration of the people on the Korean peninsula for peaceful unification and support all constructive efforts aimed at maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and peacefully settling the issues concerning the Korean peninsula through dialogue.

16. Both parties consistently support efforts aimed at ensuring a comprehensive, lasting and equitable peace in the Middle East on the basis of Resolution 242 on November 22, 1967 and Resolution 338 on October 22, 1973 of the UN Security Council and the principles of the Madrid Conference, including the 'land for peace' formula.

17. Both parties share the view that the fine outcome of the first visit to Vietnam by the President of the Russian Federation has a special significance, contributing to taking the Vietnam-Russia relationship to a new stage of development in the 21st century, in conformity with the aspiration and interests of the people of both countries and for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.

The Russian Federation's President Vladimir V Putin invited the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's President Tran Duc Luong to pay an official visit to the Russian Federation at an appropriate time. President Tran Duc Luong accepted the invitation with thanks. The time for the visit will be fixed through diplomatic channels. (VNA)