The recent visit of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang to Belarus and his meeting on 27th June 2017 at Minsk with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenk has heightened the bilateral relations between the two countries. The visit of Tran Dai Quang took place amidst the the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam-Belarus diplomatic ties. The Presidents of the two countries signed a joint statement on developing comprehensively and intensively the bilateral partnership, after their talks in Minsk.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Vietnam and Belarus continued to maintain cordial relations. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam recognized the Independence of the Republic of Belarus on the 27th of December 1991. Diplomatic relations between two countries were established in 1992. In December 1997 the Trade Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was reorganized into the Embassy The Vietnamese Embassy in Minsk was opened in 2003. The current visit of the Vietnamese leader to Minsk is the third in the quarter-century of Belarus-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

The Belarusian President has visited the Asian country the same number of times. Moreover, in 2015 Hanoi was the first foreign capital visited by Alexander Lukashenko after his inauguration. The two countries continue to work closely in international forums such as United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement for contributing to ensuring the interests of each country as well as to the building of a peaceful, stable and prosperous world.

During the recent meeting of Tran Dai Quang and Alexander Lukashenk in Minsk, both the countries agreed to maintain the regular exchange of all-level visits, especially high-ranking ones, to reinforce political trust along with boosting State, parliament, sector and locality links and collaboration at multilateral forums like the United Nations and the Non-aligned Movement to protect their countries’ interests and security, together striving for a world of peace, stability and prosperity.

President Alexander Lukashenko asserted his backing of Vietnam’s position on tackling territorial disputes, including those in the East Sea by peaceful measures without using force or threat to use force, with the participation of all sides concerned. He welcomed the efforts to soon achieve a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The two sides affirmed the shared wish to increase trade and economic cooperation and recognised the huge cooperation potential in this field, taking into account the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which took effect from October 5, 2016.

The countries also reached a consensus on an array of solutions to furthering the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation to match the sound political ties. They noted the coordination to implement efficiently the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union and the Protocol on supporting the production of motored transport vehicles in the territory of Vietnam, with a view to making a breakthrough in the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, supporting the effort to bring two-way trade to 500 million USD in the next two years, along with studying possibilities to expand cooperation in agriculture which is still untapped by the two countries.

The countries also stressed the importance of boosting partnership in other fields such as science-technology, education, healthcare, culture, sports and tourism. Vietnam appreciated Belarus’ decision to simplify visa procedures for Vietnamese citizens having Schengen visa or visas issued by EU member countries as from February 12, 2017. Vice versa, Belarus thanked Vietnam for exempting visa for Belarusian citizens entering Vietnam for a short time as from July 1, 2015, as well as including Belarus in the list of countries benefiting from Vietnam’s pilot e-visa project.

Alexander Lukashenko expressed his belief that official visit to Belarus by President Quang will surely create a new impulse to the Vietnam-Belarus cooperation to grow robustly across sectors, thus providing a solid foundation for the bilateral ties to reach a new height, meeting their people’s aspiration and interest, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.

In a similar vein, Vietnam stated that there was strong progress in the increasingly practical partnership with Belarus, which is a traditional and promising partner.