"Close cooperation with Russia in addressing a number of international and regional problems, including the fight against terrorism, is in the center of Vietnam's foreign policy," the minister assured.
Mr Luong will be making an official visit to the Russian capital May 17 through 19, at President Vladimir Puitin's invitation. He is scheduled to meet for talks with the host country's Premier and Speaker of Parliament. While in Moscow, he is also expected to attend a Russo-Vietnamese business forum and to visit the Russian Academy of Sciences, Mr Nien said.
The Vietnamese leader's forthcoming talks with senior Russian officials will cover a whole range of bilateral issues, our interviewee said. International topics of mutual concern are also likely to be discussed, he added.
The strong political relationship between Russia and Vietnam can be a good foundation for advancing their economic cooperation, Mr Nien pointed out. According to statistics cited by him, last year's Russo-Vietnamese trade turnover came to 651.3 million dollars. The actual potential of the two economies remains largely undertapped, he noted.
Speaking of joint Russo-Vietnamese projects, the minister mentioned the construction of energy-infrastructure facilities in Vietnam and a number of collaborative programs in science, technology, education, and the arts.
"Vietnam considers the Russian Federation to be a reliable partner," Mr Nien remarked.
Other destinations on the Vietnamese President's forthcoming European tour will include Hungary (May 19 to 21) and the United Kingdom (May 22 to 26).