Vietnam strongly helps boost Russia-ASEAN cooperation

An art performance at the Russia – ASEAN Culture Festival in Sochi city in 2016 (Photo:

In two recent publications in Russia on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Russia, the Chairman of the Council of Experts Scientific Research Foundation "Eurasian Thought" Grigory Trofimchuk and Political Science Doctor Ekaterina Koldunova, Associate Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave many assessments and analysis on this important role of Vietnam.

In the article "The role and position of Vietnam in Russia - ASEAN cooperation", Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova said that the comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and Vietnam is highlighted by a higher frequency of high-level meetings compared to the rest of ASEAN member countries.

Before the establishment of the Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership, at the bilateral level, Russia and Vietnam had accumulated extensive experience in the implementation of special economic projects, with the participation of Joint venture Vietsovpetro, Rusvietpetro and Gazpromviet companies and the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre. 

In 2015, the agreement on a free trade area (FTA) between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Vietnam was signed, and came into effect in 2016. This was the first FTA between EAEU and a Southeast Asian country. Notably, when Vietnam was the Chair of ASEAN in 2010, Russia was invited to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS). The ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting with dialogue partners (ADMM+) also helped Russia establish a series of new channels of communication with ASEAN countries. Russia and Vietnam have a tradition of sharing assessments on many strategic issues related to the Asia-Pacific region, in which Russia supports full compliance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and supports the early signing of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

During this year as ASEAN President, Vietnam has to deal with a series of complex tasks, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, according to Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 remains "promising" as there may be unique areas of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN, with the foundation mainly based on the bilateral cooperation between Russia and Vietnam in military medicine, emergency response, and scientific cooperation to combat risks and challenges caused by pandemic.

In the book "Vietnam takes off" by international affairs expert Grigory Trofimchuk, the author spent many pages discussing Vietnam's role in connecting and promoting the image of ASEAN not only in Russia, but on a worldwide scale. The Russian expert said that Vietnam increasingly asserted its role and position in international and regional organizations, even playing a leading role in ASEAN. Vietnam deserves to be awarded for its contributions in enhancing ASEAN's image on a global scale.

Mr. Grigory Trofimchuk affirmed that Vietnam is a really reliable partner of countries in the international community, and is a priority direction of Russia in the Asia - Pacific. In addition, Vietnam also actively and proactively participates in international organizations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), joining peacekeeping forces of the United Nations and having been twice elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council with very high votes in favour. According to the Russian expert, Vietnam is not only actively participating in international affairs and the integration process in many fields, but also contributing to shaping the world./.


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