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    Vietnam 'Considered and Considers Russia an Extremely Important Partner'

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    In an interview with Sputnik Vietnam, Trung Quang Khánh, a retired Colonel-General of the Vietnamese army, who earlier this week was awarded by President Putin, has praised Russian-Vietnamese military cooperation.

    “The partnership of our countries has a comprehensive strategic character. We have a rich history as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the years of the military hard times. Vietnam considered and considers Russia an extremely important partner, especially in the military-technical field,” the general said.

    Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to the retired Colonel-General of the Vietnamese People's Army, Trung Quang Khánh. He was awarded for his great contribution to the development of military-technical and scientific-technological cooperation between the two countries.

    “Allow me to thank you for your congratulations. I think that it was not only me personally but also all those units and departments of the Ministry of Defense of Vietnam who are engaged in the development of military-technical cooperation with Russia, were awarded such a high award,” Khanh said.

    He noted that the cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense and the relevant departments of the Russian Federation has developed extremely actively and fruitfully in recent years especially in the period after 2009.

    “There was an active exchange of research results in the military-scientific and military-technical fields, one of whose goals was a kind of ‘revolution’ — transformation of the Vietnamese army into a truly modern army,” the retired general said.

    According to him, much remains to be done in this direction; in particular, he stresses two main tasks. The first is the preparation of modern cadres for the Vietnamese People's Army. The second is the preservation of the Vietnamese defense potential.

    In this regard an important role is played by modern weapons and military equipment. “I believe that the military-technical cooperation remains one of the four most important foundations of the Vietnamese-Russian relations,” Khanh told Sputnik Vietnam.

    While assessing prospects for cooperation of the two countries in the area of defense, the general noted that after the successful completion of a contract for the supply of Russian submarines to the Vietnamese Navy, a new page in the development of military-technical cooperation between the two countries has opened.

    “The partnership of our countries has a comprehensive strategic character. We have a rich history as we stood shoulder to shoulder in the years of the military hard times.

    Vietnam considered and considers Russia an extremely important partner, especially in the military-technical field,” the general said.

    The general added that it's no coincidence that Vietnam's Defense Minister, Ngo Xuan, made his first foreign trip to Russia.

    On February 28, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc held a ceremony to raise the Vietnamese flag on the two latest submarines that were delivered by Russia.

    According to the general, this event holds a great symbolic significance as it was the largest contract in Vietnam's history of arms purchases.

    Quang Khánh further told Sputnik that he received higher military education in the Soviet Union and expressed deep gratitude to all his teachers and mentors. It was thanks to the knowledge gained from them that he was able to make a brilliant career for himself, having risen to the high post of the Deputy Minister of Defense of Vietnam.

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    cooperation, military, defense, submarine, partnership, interview, Vladimir Putin, Vietnam
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