Defense Minister visits Russia

Nhandan July 4, 1999 - A Vietnamese high-ranking military delegation led by Defence Minister Pham Van Tra have talked with a Russian high-ranking military delegation led by Defence Minister, Marshal Igor Sergeyev.

The two sides have exchanged views on world and Asia-Pacific situation and on friendship co-operation in national construction and defence of Vietnam and the Federal Republic of Russia.

During the talks, Mr. Sergeyev emphasised that this was the first Vietnamese Defence Minister to officially visit Russia since this country declared its independence. The Russian visit was of significant importance, marking a new step in the traditional friendly relations and helping enhance the multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov received the Vietnamese delegation on July 2. He expressed his firm belief that the visit would help strengthen and boost the time-honoured friendship and mutually beneficial co-operation between the two peoples and armed forces of the two countries. He also said he wished that the two countries would together build up a better traditional, stable, long-term relationship. He also conveyed the best regards to Vietnamese guests from Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin who is now on business out of the country.

Defence Minister Pham Van Tra said the Vietnamese people and armed forces are forever grateful to the people and armed forces of the former Soviet Union including the present Russian Federation, for their wholehearted support and their great and precious assistance, both spiritually and materially to Vietnam during its past hard and fierce struggle for national independence, freedom and present national construction. He also expressed his hope that the traditional friendship, equal and mutually beneficial co-operation between the two countries and armies would develop more deeply, practically and effectively.

The same evening, Defence Minister Sergeyev held a banquet in honour of the Vietnamese delegation.

While in Russia, the Vietnamese military delegation paid a flora tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at the Kremlin Wall, called at the Zhukovski Aviation Technology Institute and several localities.