Review 2013: When Russia is back at Cam Ranh

VietNamNet Bridge – Russia has officially returned to Cam Ranh with the proposal of building a wholly Russian-invested five-star resort near the Cam Ranh Airport. The resort for soldiers will be managed by a Vietnam-Russia management board.

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Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh (right) and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

Meanwhile, Vietsopetro (a Russian-Vietnamese oil and gas JV) will contribute capital to build a shipyard in the non-military area of the Cam Ranh Port. This is a project developed by the Newport Corporation of the Vietnam Navy and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam)

Defense Minister, General Phung Quang Thanh said that this shipyard will provide services to the ships of any country.

“Being stationed here, Russia well understands the strategic location of the port of Cam Ranh. This is deep water, sheltered, large and very close to the international sea route.

Vietnam's viewpoint is not making allies and not allowing other countries to set up their military bases here. With the great potential of Cam Ranh, it would be very wasteful if Cam Ranh is only used for military purposes. Therefore, Cam Ranh is divided into three zones: military zone, logistics and technical service zone for foreign civilian vessels and the completely civil zone (Ba Ngoi).

Russia asked Vietnam to permit Russian naval ships to enter the Cam Ranh Bay for logistics and technical services. Vietnam’s viewpoint is to allow vessels of all countries, not only Russia to enter the Cam Ranh Port for logistics services," said Minister of Defense Phung Quang Thanh.

Strategic defense dialogue

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The 4th defense dialogue between VN and the US in Washington DC.

Defense dialogues at many levels, including annual dialogues at the Deputy Defense Minister between Vietnam and other countries were promoted in 2013.

Vietnam conducted the 4th strategic defense dialogues with China, the second with South Korea, Japan and the 8th with India.

With the U.S., Vietnam conducted the 4th dialogue on defense policy and 6th political - security - defense dialogue. Bilateral defense dialogue with Australia was also held.

The defense dialogue is considered a mechanism to facilitate the exchange of strategic issues, to strengthen cooperation, to settle disagreements, making the relations between Vietnam and other countries increasingly proactive and more reliable.

Military modernization

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A modern ship of Vietnam navy.

To meet the needs of national defense, with the existing funding, Vietnam has prioritized investment in some arms, especially the navy.

Vietnam has signed agreements to purchase modern defense products from many countries.

The military has been gradually equipped with modern weapons such as: Kilo submarines, Molniya ships with Uran E missiles, anti-aircraft missiles S-300PMU1, aircrafts Su - 30MK2 and Su-34 of Russia, VL MICA anti-aircraft missile systems, the Exocet MM40 anti-subsonic ship missiles of France, Extra missiles of Israel, P28 stealth corvettes and Pragati tactical ballistic missiles of India, patrol vessels of new generation of Japan, Su-22UM3 and the VERA high-tech system to detect aircrafts of the Czech Republic.

Defense dialogues between Vietnam-China

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The 4th defense dialogue between VN and China in Beijing.

Agreed on the need to build mutual trust, Vietnam and China have realized that without political truest, the two sides cannot maintain development and cooperation or resolve disagreements.

The Vietnam-China strategic defense dialogue is a bilateral channel for the exchange of strategic issues, strengthening cooperation, settling disputes, contributing to the development of bilateral relations.

There are four principles agreed by both parties. It was set up strategic trust between the two Ministries of Defense, providing the basis for the next steps; the both Ministries of Defense’s leaders have an open mind, have faith in each other, looking straight into the disputes and existing problems to solve together, considering the remaining issues, transforming from conflicts to the direction that can be solved, on the basis of sincere exchange between nation and nation, between the two armies.

At the 4th dialogue this year, the two sides signed an agreement to set up a hot line between the two Ministries of Defense.

The East Sea is one of the important fields of dialogue. The two armies committed to create a peaceful environment in the East Sea, to maintain the status quo, to reduce presence in the sensitive areas, to avoid the actions that can be mislead, not to use force or threaten to use force and looking to sign the agreement not to use force and threaten to use force at sea between the two navies.

Linh Thu - Nguyen Nham

review 2013, china-vietnam, defense dialogue, navy, army