He said bilateral ties have been flourishing in all fields, from politics, economy, defence-security and science-technology to education and people-to-people links.
In politics, mutual trust was enhanced thanks to frequent delegation exchanges last year, including a Russia visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and trips to Vietnam by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chairman of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin.
One of the highlights in bilateral connections is the growing cooperation in defence-security, Manh said, noting that for the first time, Vietnam took part in army games in Russia and vessels of Russia’s Pacific Fleet visited Cam Ranh Port of Vietnam.
Capitalising on the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union, to which Russia is a party, the two countries’ businesses have bolstered economic, trade and investment partnerships, the diplomat said.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, bilateral trade reached 4.57 billion USD in 2018, up 28.6 percent from the previous year.
Building on positive energy exploitation cooperation, the two sides have been promoting key joint projects, especially the centre for nuclear science and technology and urban transport development projects in Vietnam.
Manh added they have also expanded collaboration to digital technology, e-government, renewable energy and the production of seeds, pesticides, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
Regarding tourism, the number of Russian visitors to Vietnam hit a record of more than 600,000 in 2018, ranking first among European nations and sixth among all sources of tourists to the Southeast Asian nation, he said, adding that more and more Vietnamese have also visited Russia.
Locality-to-locality ties have been reinforced and become substantive, focusing on economic, trade, investment, cultural and educational links. Many localities have sought trade and investment partnership opportunities and set up twin relations.
In terms of cooperation in 2019, Ambassador Manh said this year, the two countries will mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the treaty on basic principles of the Vietnam-Russia friendship and prepare to mark 70 years of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2020.
They will organise the Russia Year in Vietnam and the Vietnam Year in Russia, which are important to strengthening their comprehensive strategic partnership. Accordingly, a variety of activities will be held throughout 2019 and 2020, from high-ranking visits, workshops, exhibitions to trade, investment and tourism promotion events, arts performances and youth exchanges.
He expressed his belief that the Friendship Year will be successful and boost the countries’ partnership.