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Stepashin: Vietnamese remember what the USSR and the Russian Federation did in the most difficult moment for them

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 06:08:41

Sergei Stepashin

Photo: Ivan MAKEEV

… – Sergey Vadimovich, as far as we know, has just returned from Vietnam. What kind of trip was this, what were your goals? What is the most interesting?

– I flew to Vietnam as director of the Russian Bar Association. We have very active relations in this regard with Vietnam. In 2019, agreements were signed on interaction between the bar associations of our two countries. There, by the way, is a very authoritative organization: it has 80 thousand people and includes the best lawyers in Vietnam.

– What problems did you and your colleagues solve?

– There are several tasks. The first is to invite our Vietnamese colleagues as observers to participate in the BRICS legal summit, which will be held in September in Moscow at MGIMO. And in the fall there will also be a major BRICS summit in Kazan.

– Yes, we are aware.

– And we solved this problem – the Vietnamese comrades responded with pleasure to my proposal to participate first as observers.

– As far as I know, it was received by the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Pham Minh Trinh…

– Yes, such a meeting took place. And, if we continue the conversation about the BRICS, in the conversation the Prime Minister expressed the idea that they are very closely following the work of this authoritative international organization. And they hope that during the next, as they believe, possible visit of our President Vladimir Putin to Vietnam, this issue will be on the agenda.

– Do I understand correctly that in Vietnam you were received as the former Prime Minister of Russia?

– Yes, Sasha, that’s true. Therefore, in addition to legal and other issues, we generally discussed the areas of interaction between the two countries. Once again it stood out: the Vietnamese remember what the Soviet Union and Russia did well in the most difficult times for them.

By the way, I would like to remind you that few people know that Vietnam joined in 1975; Next year they will celebrate their anniversary. By the way, Vietnam’s independence was declared in 1945. They will celebrate two anniversaries next year.

Thus, when the last American soldier and ambassador fled Saigon in 1975, the sanctions against Vietnam, imposed by the same States, continued until 1995. 20 years!

And, as they told me, “only Russia, and before that the Soviet Union, gave us help, and we will never forget that.”

-Have you discussed the issue of sanctions with your Vietnamese comrades?

– Yes, I was simply interested in discussing this topic with them. Of course, they have a very harsh assessment of what the West is doing against our country today, they do not hide it.

Nor do they hide the difficulties that unfortunately exist today in terms of trade and economic relations, especially from the point of view of the American position regarding the large Vietnamese companies that are willing to work with us. This is me, about banks and mutual agreements.

We also discussed these issues with the Prime Minister. Well, the topic is very sensitive, so I won’t announce it for now. This will be reported to our president.

– Interesting… What else was on the visiting program?

– We discussed options for interaction with the Ministry of Justice and its leaders, from the point of view of legal reform. By the way, we have many identical assessments from the point of view of the right to fight corruption. By the way, the Vietnamese are very active in this regard.

I didn’t even have a meeting with the speaker of your national assembly (parliament), my former colleague, the former chief auditor of Vietnam, because a few days ago several of his assistants were arrested. You see how history reminds us a little.

– Yes, it seems…

– And the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, by the way, personally heads the commission to combat corruption in the country. They take this very seriously. So, I think this is also a good experience that can be useful to us.

There was also a meeting with the head of the Supreme Court. He is a member of the Politburo, one of the most authoritative politicians in Vietnam, and he asked me to greet our new head of this body, Irina Leonidovna Podnosova, which I will certainly do.

We also remember the former president of our Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Lebedev, who recently passed away. You know, it was such a human conversation.

– What is your general impression of the country?

– Of course, Vietnam is developing extremely dynamically. According to many indicators, both in terms of GDP growth and industrial production and agricultural production, today Vietnam is one of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia.

And the second indicator. In 1992, when I was in Vietnam (the fate of the Russian military base in Cam Ranh was being decided then. – AG) – by the way, I met with all the top leaders of Vietnam, as now…

So, the population of Vietnam at that time was 75 million people. Now there are more than 100. That is, the population has increased by 25 million over the years. This means that people live better. And the families became stronger. There is no poverty, no misery, no unemployment in Vietnam. Wonderful tourism.

I recommend our citizens not to fly to Thailand and Bali, but to Vietnam. Beautiful beaches, wonderful vacation spots and, by the way, not that expensive. Now there is a direct flight from Aeroflot.

And of course the way they treat us there, maybe in our country people don’t always treat each other like the Vietnamese treat the Russians. As soon as they hear Russian spoken, they immediately smile…

This is really historical memory. Unfortunately, many have forgotten this, including our former Soviet republics.

I also met with students from Vietnam University of Law – interesting guys who asked me a lot of questions. And, by the way, they do not hesitate to ask: what is happening between you and Ukraine?

And, you know, I found that formula. I say: remember, when there were two Vietnams, the south and the north, one was occupied by the Americans, the same Vietnamese lived there and for so many years they fought for their independence and unity.

And we, I mean, have exactly the same history with Little Russia. Russians live there who were divided and we know how it was done, including within the framework of the Belovezhskaya Agreements. That is why we liberated our country and our people. And you know, the law students listened to me.

This is probably the same way we should explain, including to our politicians and diplomats, what and why is happening in Ukraine today.

And, of course, when I spoke with the Prime Minister and the leaders of the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court, they were extremely outraged by how the Americans, and not just others, are injecting weapons into Ukraine, and that is clearly about a conflict against our country. It was a very interesting trip.

– How long did your visit last?

– Three days… It’s a little hard, because for three days I spent 25 hours on the plane and I couldn’t rest. Today I only slept a little.

– Well, you are no stranger to such long trips… Thank you very much.

– Thanks to Komsomolskaya Pravda for being interested in this.

– Certainly. And to our listeners and our readers. Good luck!

– Happy!

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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