News / Asia

Russian President Signs Nuclear Plant Deal With Vietnam

Visiting Russian president Dimitry Medvedev (L) shakes and with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet during an official welcoming ceremonyat the presidential palace in Hanoi, 31 Oct 2010
Visiting Russian president Dimitry Medvedev (L) shakes and with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet during an official welcoming ceremonyat the presidential palace in Hanoi, 31 Oct 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met in Hanoi with Vietnamese leaders to seal a nuclear plant construction agreement and other deals between the two countries.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in the Vietnam capital, Hanoi, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders summit. Mr. Medvedev praised the $5 billion agreement to build Vietnam's first-ever nuclear power plant.

Mr. Medvedev spoke during a press conference broadcast on Russian state television.

"If we reach the goals we have set, this power plant will account for a great share of Vietnam's energy market and will allow it to develop as a modern state that not only produces and processes oil, but also uses other energy sources, which is very important in today's world," he said.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet also praised the agreement.

"Today's signing of an agreement on the construction of an atomic power plant in Vietnam demonstrates the special ties we have with Russia, and of course the deal indicates the confidence that Vietnam has in Russia's technology," he said.

Under the pact, Russia will initially build two power units in Vietnam, each with a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts each.

Vietnam says it has plans to build eight nuclear power plants in five provinces within the next 20 years. The plants would have a total capacity of 15 gigawatts, which would account for about 10 percent of all electricity produced in the country.

Moscow State University of International Relations Asian expert Dmitry addressed the pact on Rusisa's state-run English language channel, RussiaToday.

"The agreement was struck in sharp competition with other countries, and the fact that Vietnam preferred Russia shows that there is a revival of a sort of trust relations between our two countries," said Streltsov.

But Streltsov says that perfect relations between the two countries are not immediate just because of the new deal.

"I do not think that one could say that Russia's revival is fact. Now it is premature to say that," he said. "It is a long way ahead."

Russia has been trying bolster economic cooperation with Vietnam in recent years. The county was the site of a cold-war showdown with the United States and at one time boasted the Soviet Union's biggest naval base abroad.

According to Russian Government figures, Trade between Russia and Vietnam increased more than 16 percent in the first half of 2010. Russia also built Iran's first nuclear power plant and is actively trying to build other nuclear power facilities abroad.

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