Vietnam keen to join Customs Union

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July 30, 2012, 9:34 a.m. | World — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Vietnamese couterpart Truong Tan Sang attend a joint press conference in Moscow on July 27, 1012. Russia is holding talks about opening naval bases in Moscow's Soviet-era allies Cuba and Vietnam as well as the Seychelles, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy said.

NARYAN-MAR - Vietnam is showing interest towards the possibility of joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said.

"We hope that with a high political will of the leaders of our countries, as well as our Belarusian and Kazakh comrades and partners, we will be able to begin this process very soon and bring it to completion in the form of an agreement on Vietnam's accession to the Customs Union," the Vietnamese president told a press conference in Naryan-Mar on July 29.

"[I am confident] that if such an agreement is agreed upon and signed, it will give a new impetus for intensifying our relationship and increasing trade," he said.

"Indeed, there is a mutual desire between me and Russian President Vladimir Putin to increase the volume of trade and economic relations. We discussed the issue of speeding up quality talks over the signing of a free trade agreement. We have agreed to announce the start of talks over a free trade agreement as early as September 2012, during the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vladivostok," the president said.

The Russian and Vietnamese presidents met in Sochi on July 27. The meeting focused on the broadening of the bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

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