Eternal flame of friendship

Two kinds of trees at a monument

Moscow welcomed the delegation of the Vietnamese government, led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in their official visit to the country with honey-like sunlight. At many forests in the city, fresh white birch trees show their green colour in the sunlight, creating a tender scene like in a line of verse by Russian poet Olga Berggoltz: No – just a terrible tenderness.

Nine hours flying to Russia did not influence the working schedule of the Vietnamese delegation. Some minutes after arriving in Moscow, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the delegates went to lay wreath at the Monument of Ho Chi Minh, a familiar place for every Vietnamese delegation to Russia.

The monument is located on Ho Chi Minh Square. The image of President Ho Chi Minh is embossed on a huge round disk of bronze. A young Vietnamese is standing up from his knees together with the sun behind him. The young man is standing up and following the leader. The monument is placed on a granite platform with a statement of President Ho Chi Minh: “There is nothing more precious than independence and freedom”. The monument was inaugurated on the 100th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh, May 19th, 1990.

The interesting thing is that two typical kinds of trees of Russia and Vietnam are at the monument. On the other side of the bronze monument, there is a picture of bamboo. Meanwhile, in front of it, there are three birch trees, grown when Russia was in a difficult period by a Russian couple who love Vietnam. The long-lasting friendship between Vietnam and Russia can be seen through these symbols.

“A powerful cigar”

During Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s official visit to Russia, perhaps his visit to the Hanoi, the first submarine of the Vietnam People’s Navy, left unforgettable memories.

It took two hours to fly from Moscow to Kaliningrad. The temperature in Kaliningrad was cooler than that in Moscow, so most of the members of the Vietnamese delegation felt cold. However, when seeing the submarine, looking like a giant black cigar on the Baltic Sea, the tiredness seemed to disappear.

The Hanoi, Kilo Class, is the most modern and elite submarine in the world today. This is one of the most outstanding achievements of Russia’s shipbuilding industry, which is famous worldwide. Being capable of carrying powerful weapons and built with the most modern technology, Kilo Class submarines can be “invisible” in the sea and are powerful weapons to defend against any of their adversaries.

However, the capacity of submarines is not only based on its modern missiles and invisibility, but also on the people who control them.

In the visit to the Hanoi, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung climbed down vertical steel pipes to meet the crew who are trained together with Russian friends to learn modern technology.

The Prime Minister also talked with Captain Nguyen Van Quan, the first submarine captain of the Vietnam People’s Navy. Quan graduated from training in Vietnam before going to Russia to study in St. Petersburg. After many ups and downs, Russia continues to be the place where many generations of Vietnamese officers are trained.

The captain introduced to the head of the government the basic capacities of the submarine and promised that his crew would do their best to master the submarine and not let the country be surprised in any situations.

Talking with the press in Kaliningrad, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed that the submarine transfer is not only a commercial contract, but also a noble symbol of friendship between Vietnam and Russia.

The eternal flame by the Kremlin

After visiting the Hanoi submarine, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reaffirmed that the Vietnamese people never forget the whole-hearted support from the people of the Soviet Union in the past and Russia today for the cause of national liberation and defence of Vietnam.

On May 14th, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung led the Vietnamese delegation to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorating the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country during the Great Patriotic War (1941 – 1945). The tomb is located at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden. The torch for the memorial’s Eternal Flame was transported from Leningrad, where it had been lit from the Eternal Flame at the Field of Mars.

Several days ago, Russia solemnly celebrated Victory Day, commemorating the defeat of fascism in World War II, in which 27 million Soviet people and soldiers were killed. Not only in Russia, many countries in the world also celebrate this victory day of the Red Army, commemorating those who sacrificed their lives to bring about peace for mankind.

During the official visit to Russia, the Vietnamese delegation was warmly welcomed. The friendship, multi-faceted cooperation and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries is like the eternal flame and is reflected in every activity of the delegation, including the meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Many cooperation agreements were signed on the afternoon of May 14th, confirming the long-lasting cooperation between the two countries.