Russian Diplomat Impressed with Vietnam's Speed of Covid Vaccine Coverage
Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Gennady Stepanovich Bezdetko said he is impressed by the way Vietnamese people have fought the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the speed of vaccine rollout in a recent interview granted to VOV on the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2022.
|Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Gennady Stepanovich Bezdetko. Source: Russian embassy in Hanoi|
Bezdetko has several years studying Vietnamese at Moscow University. He came to Hanoi for the first time in the late 80s and has since returned to the country many times, witnessing plenty of Lunar New Year festivals, known locally as Tet, in the capital.
During the past two years, together with the Vietnamese people, he has witnessed the Vietnamese Government and citizen’s efforts to combat the pandemic and to safely adapt to the "new normal".
Regarding the time-honoured ties between the two countries, Bezdetko stressed that Russia and Vietnam are linked by a long-standing friendship and mutually-beneficiary co-operation. During the past seven decades, the two countries have closely co-operated across a multitude of fields and offered mutual support in difficult circumstances.
In recent times the two nations have accumulated a lot of invaluable co-operation experience which serves as the foundation for further promoting our comprehensive strategic partnership, but most importantly, the tradition of solidarity and profound sentiment between the two peoples remains unchanged.
As Russian Ambassador to Vietnam, he has pledged my best efforts to foster bilateral relations in the fields of politics, trade, economy, science, technology, humanities, defence, and security towards further strengthening the mutual comprehensive strategic partnership. This is as well as boosting the friendship and mutually-beneficial co-operation between the two countries.
Recalling the Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's trip to Russia as his first trip abroad in his new position in late 2021, the Russian diplomat regared this visit is very important for the relationship between the two countries because it brought about concrete results in bilateral co-operation across multiple fields.
President Phuc had a host of meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and many other leaders. The two sides were able to reach many agreements and our task is to accelerate the implementation of those agreements, he added.
Economic co-operation is viewed as the foundation of the current relationship between the two countries, he said, agreements in terms of economics are of great significance, especially in the enhancement of co-operation in oil and gas, trade, and investment.
Talking about his impression of the Doi Moi (renewal) policy in Vietnam, Bezdetko spoke of Vietnam's many great achievements in its most important goal of the policy - shifting away from a centrally-planned economy to a market economy.
According to him, Vietnam now boasts a very stable economy across a variety of fields such as import and export, banking, services, and tourism.
Before the pandemic broke out, Vietnamese economic growth was quite high, reaching around 7%, whilst the nation had the ability to become a modern and developed economy both in the region and in the world. In addition, the country has also maintained an effective foreign policy, which attaches importance on relations with traditional friends like Russia.
|Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Gennady Stepanovich Bezdetko hands over to Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan 100,000 doses of the Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine donated for Vietnam by the Russian Government at a ceremony held in Hanoi in December 2022. Source: Russian embassy in Hanoi|
Sharing his opinions on how Vietnamese people have fought the pandemic, the Russian Ambassador was impressed by the way Vietnamese people have fought Covid-19, especially the speed of vaccine coverage.
"If I compare it with Russia, I see that the Vietnamese people came together to combat the pandemic in a disciplined and united manner during difficult times. In the early days when the pandemic first occurred, everyone thought that the disease would be contained in a short time and life would return to the way it was before. However, that has not been the case, particularly as our country has encountered certain difficulties," said Bezdetko.
"We have quickly researched and produced vaccines, while convincing people to distance themselves," he pointed out that despite Vietnamese people starting to research vaccines later than other countries, there are many ways in which to get vaccines.
In just a short time, Vietnam was able to access vaccines and moved to deploy vaccination on a large scale to achieve a very large level of vaccine coverage. All Vietnamese aged 18 and over have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least one dose. This is a very impressive figure, Bezdetko hightlighted.
Ambassador Bezdetko also thought back of many times he celebrated the Lunar New Year festival in Vietnam.
He compared it with Russia's, saying that just like the New Year holiday in Russia, Vietnamese Tet can be fully felt, perhaps only in the North, where there is a marked change of seasons.
The onset of spring is reminiscent of weather changes, especially drizzly conditions. A bustling atmosphere appears before the holiday on local streets, whilst people give each other gifts and decorate their houses. After welcoming the new year, they spend a week enjoying time together with family and friends.
At this moment, for guests in Vietnam, life seems to stop and the streets are left eerily quiet as cafes and restaurants close. This is the right time to go for a walk and visit scenic spots around the capital.
Finally, on behalf of the entire staff of the Russian Embassy, he extended their best wishes to listeners of VOV online newspaper and hope they enjoy health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year.
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