Baku-APA. Russia expects Vietnam to soon join the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia as negotiations on the free trade agreement between the union and Vietnam are yielding many progresses, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
At a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh, Lavrov said Russia supports Vietnam in the negotiation process with the Custom Union so that the two sides can sign the agreement soon this year, said Lavrov.
The two foreign ministers agreed that the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has brought about practical results for the two countries in all sectors.
"Russia attaches great importance to the traditional friendly relations with Vietnam and highlights the increasing role of Vietnam in the Asia-Pacific," said Lavrov.
"Russia and Vietnam have the same viewpoints over many regional and international issues. Russia supports Vietnam's active role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as ASEAN's role in establishing a new regional architecture," he said.
The two sides agreed at the meeting that cooperation in the energy, oil and gas sector has been implemented effectively, bringing stable revenue to the two countries' state budgets.
To future the cooperation, priority will be placed on carrying out 12 big investment projects including the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant, oil and gas exploitation by Russia-Vietnam joint-venture companies on Vietnam's continental shelf and Russian territories, and the expansion and modernization of Vietnam's Dung Quat oil refinery factory.
They also agreed that ties in security, national defense, culture, education and training, tourism and sports between Vietnam and Russia have been strengthened. The two ministers vowed to speed up the establishment of the Vietnam-Russia Technology University in Vietnam.
According to the Vietnamese foreign minister, two-way trade between the two countries reached 4 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, up 7 percent year-on-year.