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Article by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, “Time-honoured friendship and partnership” published in the daily “Thezoy va Vietnam” (“Peace and Vietnam”) on 16 April 2014

In January 2015 Russia and Vietnam will celebrate a remarkable date – 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Large-scale and profound changes have taken place in our states and in the world in the past decades. However, traditions of Russian-Vietnamese friendship, trust and mutual aid remain unchanged.

The dynamic development of the entire set of bilateral relations has allowed them to be transformed into a comprehensive strategic partnership. Russia and Vietnam sincerely appreciate the achieved level of interaction. We have achieved significant advances in the development of our cooperation in different areas: from trade and investments to defence and security, science, education and culture. It will not be an exaggeration to say that there are almost no areas, where our countries would not set up close ties.

A trustworthy dialogue at summit level will provide the necessary impetus for the comprehensive extension of our bilateral cooperation. In July 2012 the President of the SRV, Truong Tan Sang, visited Russia. In November 2013, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, made a visit to Vietnam. The joint statement as a result of this visit contains agreements on further reinforcement of our partner ties in traditional and perspective areas. The check-list of priority tasks to further advance the Russian-Vietnamese comprehensive strategic partnership, which has been adopted every year since 2007, is an irreplaceable helping hand in their implementation. We have such a cooperation mechanism with only a few our partners.

Regular contacts are maintained at the level of heads of state of Russia and Vietnam. Inter-parliamentary ties are actively developed.

The interaction between foreign policy agencies of our countries has reached a new high. The plan of the cooperation of foreign ministries, signed during the visit of the SRV’s Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minhin July 2012, is an important support for strengthening of its relationship.

Despite the unfavourable atmosphere in the world economics, reciprocal turnover of goods is stably growing and reached 3.97 billion US dollars last year, which is 8.5% more than in 2012. This is another step in the implementation of the task to increase volumes of bilateral trade to 7 billion US dollars by 2015 and to 10 billion US dollars by 2020, as set out by the leaders of Russia and Vietnam.

Additionally, it should be acknowledged that indicators of Russian-Vietnamese trade do not match the available potential. The conclusion is evident – a brand-new trade and investment environment, which corresponds to the task of strengthening global and regional integration processes should be created. The free trade agreement (FTA) between member states of the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan) and Vietnam, on which we are actively working, is expected to become a strong stimulus for the build-up of trade with goods and services. High-level work groups on priority investment projects, which are oriented towards the resolution of primary tasks of social and economic development of our states, is active with regard to the FTA, which is being developed. I am convinced that Vietnam will keep assisting Russian companies working in the SRV. Vietnamese investors in Russia may count on the same approach from us.

Historically, the oil and gas industry is playing the leading role in the multifaceted economic cooperation. Its flagship, joint venture “Vietsovpetro”, is widely known in Vietnam and beyond it. The leading Russian companies Gazprom and Rosneft are working on the continental shelf in the SRV. Our goal is not just to increase physical volumes of extraction of hydrocarbons, but to diversify cooperation at the account of supplies from Russia of liquefied gas and oil, organisation of production of gas engine fuel, involvement of Russian companies in the extension and modernisation of Vietnamese oil refineries. Guided by the principle of equal partnership, we support oil and gas extraction projects in the territory of the Russian Federation with participation of the Petrovietnam Corporation for oil and gas.

The joint implementation of the project of construction of the first Vietnamese nuclear power plant in the Ninh Thuan Province opened a new chapter in our relations. At the same time, a Centre of Nuclear Science and Technologies in Vietnam is being created in Vietnam. I would like to point out that these sites will comply with the most strict international security requirements.

It is hard to overestimate the significance of highly qualified staff for successful social and economic development of any country. Based on this, we intend to build up the scale of preparation of specialists for Vietnam funded from the Russian budget and based on contracts. The project of the Vietnamese-Russian Technology University, which is under development, will contribute to the familiarisation of the Vietnamese youth to the high standards of education in Russia.

It is good that they still love culture of Russian people in Vietnam. The big success of the Russian Culture Days in the SRV last November is a vivid confirmation of this. In turn, the original and rich Vietnamese culture also arouses interest in Russian nationals. Many of them wish to take a closer look at your beautiful country. The growing flow of tourists from Russia is a clear evidence of this: almost 300 thousand Russians visited Vietnam last year.

We consistently support further extension of contacts between nationals of the two countries. Against this background, we note the positive role of the Vietnamese diaspora in the Russian Federation. We will keep ensuring favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals living and working in Russia. At the same time, we need to consistently resolve the problem of illegal migration – the law of our countries should be strictly observed. Competent Russian and Vietnamese bodies undertake respective steps taking into consideration special relations between our people. We believe that our joint task is to prevent occurrence of any problems in the migration area and to take timely measures for their resolution.

Next year we will jointly celebrate several memorable dates. They include 70 years to mark the Victory over fascism, 40 years since the liberation of the south of Vietnam and reconnection of the country. The more distant in time these events become, the more careful we should be to keep memories of them alive, in order to confront any attempts to distort the historical truth.

Close interaction on the international stage is the most important components of the Russian-Vietnamese comprehensive strategic partnership. The positions of our countries is very close, to one another, on the issues of the formation of a fair and democratic polycentric world order, based on the fundamental principles of international law, the central and coordinating role of the UN, the respect for identity of people and the commitment to the collective search for answers to global challenges and threats. Russia and Vietnam closely coordinate their foreign policy approaches both in the bilateral format and within the framework of international and regional forums and organisations.

The activation of multifaceted ties with states of the Asia-Pacific region, which are becoming more significant in the world economy and politics, are an important priority in Russia’s international activities. Stability in this region is a necessary condition for the development of cooperation. Therefore, it is essential to create secure mechanisms of ensuring equal and undivided security based on non-aligned approaches in the APR. In particular, it is envisaged the initiative to launch the work on the framework of principles for the new regional architecture, which was approved within the framework of the East Asia Summit in Brunei in October 2013, will contribute to this. We expect to take the joint work forward with our Vietnamese friends.

Russia and Vietnam face new, more complicated tasks in the modern age. We should keep up with the times, following the covenants of our predecessors. Only in this way will our countries be able to ensure their well-being, welfare and secure position in today’s competitive markets. I am convinced that we are able to jointly resolve these tasks based on the time-honoured traditions of Russian-Vietnamese friendship and partnership.


24.06.2018 - Greeting by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for the Znaniye school Family Day (Ealing, 24 June 2018)

Dear friends and guests, I am delighted to welcome you at a Family Day celebrating Russia and the World Cup. Today, Russia is the place to be for the whole world. It is a great pleasure to hear fans from all continents appreciating Russia’s hospitality, friendliness and openness to everyone. Right now, people from virtually every country see the 11 host cities, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals on the border of Europe and Asia, and realize how diverse and beautiful our country is. We’d like to bring a bit of Russia and the excitement of the World Cup to Ealing, for those who couldn’t make it to the tournament. By the way, so far both our teams are doing very well, and let us hope they keep up this good work. We cheer for both Russia and England but I’m afraid this can change if both teams meet at the semi-finals.

20.06.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, May 30, 2018

Mr Dynkin, Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful for a new opportunity to speak at the international forum named after Academician Evgeny Primakov, an outstanding Russian statesman, academic and public figure. It is indeed a great honour for me. I consider Mr Primakov, with whom I worked at the Foreign Ministry in the latter half of the 1990s, my senior comrade and teacher, as probably do the majority of those who crossed paths with him at one point. Holding this representative conference under the aegis of one of Russia’s leading academic institutes – National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) that also bears Primakov’s name – has become a good tradition. The Primakov Readings have earned a reputation as a venue for serious dialogue of authoritative specialists on the most pressing issues of international politics and the global economy. Today, there is no lack of buzzwords used by politicians, experts and scientists to capture the current moment in international relations. They talk about the crisis of the “liberal world order” and the advent of the post-Western era, “hot peace” and the “new cold war”. The abundance of terms itself shows that there is probably no common understanding of what is happening. It also points to the fairly dynamic and contradictory state of the system of international relations that is hard to characterise, at least at the present stage, with one resounding phrase. The authors of the overarching theme of the current Primakov Readings probably handled the challenge better than others. In its title “Risks of an unstable world order’ they provocatively, and unacademically, combine the words “unstable” and “order”.

21.04.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's talking points at the Press Conference, 20 April 2018

Since we met last time a lot of events took place: - Military strikes of the United States, UK and France against Syria in violation of the international law - Mission by OPCW inspectors to Douma - Speech of Prime Minister May in Parliament in support of the British aggression against Syria - Special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council (18 April 2018) - New developments in the classified case of Salisbury poisoning of Skripal family - No meaningful developments on the Glushkov case - and Cyber security threats I plan to comment all these issues. And I will be happy to answer all our questions, if you have any.

17.03.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's interview for "Mail on Sunday" (full text)

Q: Bearing in mind that the US, France and Germany have said they agree with Britain that all the evidence suggests the attacks in Salisbury were the responsibility of the Russian state, what credibility can be placed on the denials issued by the Russian Government? A:We don't know if UK presented any evidence to US, France and Germany - highly likely none - but if they did, why not present it through the channels outlined in the Chemical Weapons Convention? Universal legal principle is presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof lies with the British Government. Its record includes the Iraq WMD dossier - you will remember that at some point doubting US and UK claims was considered a wild conspiracy theory. It is not any more.

26.01.2018 - Main foreign policy outcomes of 2017

In 2017, Russian diplomacy addressed multidimensional tasks to ensure national security and create a favourable external environment for our country's progressive development. Russia maintained an independent foreign policy, promoted a unifying agenda, and proposed constructive solutions to international problems and conflicts. It developed mutually beneficial relations with all interested states, and played an active role in the work of the UN, multilateral organisations and forums, including the G20, BRICS, the SCO, the OSCE, and the CSTO. Among other things, Russian policy has sought to prevent the destabilisation of international relations, and this responsible policy has met with broad understanding in the international community.

17.01.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the unveiling of memorial plaque in Sayes Court Park

Dear Mayor, Dear Councillors, Lady Joan, Ladies and gentlemen, It is now 320 years ago that a truly remarkable man set foot in Deptford. As you know, the Russian Tsar Peter, later named the Great, visited Western Europe in 1697—1698 under the nickname of Peter Mikhailov, with his Grand Embassy. He was eager to find out about the latest achievements in science and technology and create new diplomatic alliances. Of course, England couldn’t escape his attention. He mostly studied shipbuilding at the famous Deptford Dockyard, but he also met King William III, and, reportedly, Isaac Newton. Peter’s landlord, the famous John Evelyn, was also a respected scientist – a founder member of the Royal Society.

13.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you to the Russian Embassy at the Presentation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee. It’s a common knowledge, that football is the most popular game in the world. It is an honour for us to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the history of our country. I believe that those who come to Russia to support their national teams will leave with unforgettable memories.

08.12.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the Roscosmos "Sputnik" exhibition launch at Rossotrudnichestvo (7 December 2017)

25.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the reception at the Embassy dedicated to Russian Film Week (24 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding Russian opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky who passed away this week. In 2015 he gave a concert in this very hall. I am delighted to welcome you at our reception dedicated to the Russian Film Week and the environmental causes it champions. This year their charity partner is World Wide Fund for Nature, which runs many projects in Russia in coordination and with support of the Russian Government. Russia has a unique, fascinating wildlife. A number of this week’s films show the natural beauty of our land and are sure to raise awareness of how fragile this beauty is. We appreciate the WWF effort in Russia and worldwide and call on everybody to become a supporter, especially this year, marked as Year of Ecology in Russia.

20.11.2017 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko's remarks at the launch of the Russian Film Week (19 November 2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, It is a pleasure for me to be at the opening of the second edition of the Russian Film Week here in London – which this year also spans to Cambridge and Edinburgh.

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