Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced this week that Vietnam is set to sign a free trade deal with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
Visiting Hanoi for two days, Medvedev met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to discuss the deal.
“We have agreed on most contents of the agreement,” said Medvedev through a translator at a press conference on Monday. “I think this is the factor that would promote bilateral trade.”
In 2014 trade between the two countries exceeded US$2 billion and the Eurasian Economic Union predict this could increase to more than US$10 billion annually by 2019.
The leaders also agreed to expand oil and gas exploration in the contested East Sea, (the Vietnamese term for the South China Sea) a move which will likely concern China, Vietnam’s neighbor to the north. Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations are currently in dispute with China over its extensive claim on the resource.
“We are committed to creating favorable and secure conditions for Russian oil companies to operate in Vietnamese waters,” Dung said.
According to Hanoi the deal will be signed in the first half of this year.