Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on March 25 began his official visit to Viet Nam at the invitation of President Nguyen Minh Triet. Viet Nam News spoke to the President of Ukraine before his arrival in Viet Nam.
Viktor Yanukovych will be here until March 27. Diplomatic relations between the Ukraine and Viet Nam were established on January 23, 1992.
The last visit of a Ukrainian head of state occurred more than 14 years ago. We understand your visit is intended to re-invigorate political contact and economic co-operation.
In the last decade, our relationship largely lapsed. It is now clear that economic co-operation between our countries doesn't fit the potential. I am sure my visit will provide an important impulse for development in all directions.
What specific areas should Viet Nam and Ukraine focus on? How do you envisage future co-operation in education, banking, agriculture, investment, culture and art?
I see many prospects in aviation, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, power engineering, steel-production, petro-chemicals, mining and engineering. We need to boost all existing bilateral structures to promote trade and economic co-operation, particularly the Ukrainian-Vietnamese Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Co-operation. These venues are highly important for exploring new ways of co-operation and implementing existing agreements.
There is no doubt that the Ukraine and Viet Nam would greatly benefit from direct flights between our countries. I am sure that in the near future we'll open direct flights between HCM City and Kyiev. Traditional friendly ties between our two peoples are the basis for the success of relations between the two nations.
It is important to promote exchanges of people so that they can learn more information about each other's traditions and culture. As an example, in 2009-2010 Vietnamese children took part in the international festival "Change the World for the Better" held in Crimea. And there are prospects for actively developing co-operation in education. Thousands of Vietnamese students have already graduated from Ukrainian universities.
Trade turnover between the two countries remains modest, hovering at about US$254 million last year. What do you feel can be done to improve this?
Viet Nam is one of the most interesting markets for Ukraine in Southeast Asia. Promotion of Ukrainian exports to the Vietnamese market is a state priority. To improve the situation, we need to be more open, creative and result-oriented. We are ready to do this. The Ukraine now has processes for improving the business climate and the development of trade and economic co-operation with foreign partners.
Do you have any suggestions for Vietnamese leaders to ensure they back this heightened co-operation?
Viet Nam is one of our most important partners in Southeast Asia. Our countries also enjoy a high level of political understanding and mutual support in international affairs. I am sure that high-level meetings will open up dialogue on the key directions for co-operation. Ukraine and Viet Nam have great potential for trade, economic, scientific, technological and military co-operation.
Ukraine is preparing for an international conference titled "Twenty five years since the Chernobyl disaster: Security for the future" next month. Do you have any recommendations on how Viet Nam can safely develop its nuclear power programme?
The catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine in 1986 was one of the worst man-made disasters of the 20th century. It was a tragic experience for Ukraine and the world. This year, because of the disastrous Japanese earthquake and tsunami which hit the Daini nuclear plant, mankind has again faced the problem of providing nuclear-safe installations.
It is important that the whole world join efforts to solve such crises. This is one of the main reasons for the international conference. Ukrainian specialists are prepared to consider passing on their experiences.