Return of Overseas Vietnamese to Fatherland From Russia

Overseas Vietnamese contribute to enhancing the image and position of Vietnam in the international arena, said Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the Russia-Vietnam Cooperation Development Promotion Fund "Tradition and Friendship," with VietnamTimes.

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In a recent interview with VietnamTimes, Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the Russia-Vietnam Cooperation Development Promotion Fund “Tradition and Friendship,” discussed the fund’s activities and the Vietnamese community in Russia.

Overseas Vietnamese in Russia Turn Towards the Beloved Fatherland
Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the Russia-Vietnam Cooperation Development Promotion Fund “Tradition and Friendship.”

– The Russia-Vietnam Cooperation Development Promotion Fund “Tradition and Friendship” has organized various activities to support the Vietnamese community in Russia and contribute to overcoming the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters. Can you provide more information about these activities?

In response to the government’s call and in collaboration with the Overseas Vietnamese Association and the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, the Fund launched the “Vietnamese Unity” project. This project aimed to rally the community’s support in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. Over a period of two months, from June 25 to August 25, 2021, the project received a total donation of over VND 3 billion (USD 127,900) from 1,307 individuals and 13 businesses. The funds were utilized to purchase medicines for Covid-19 treatment, which were then sent to the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Russia.

Additionally, the Vietnamese community in Russia raised funds and purchased three UAZ Hunter Expedition off-road vehicles from Russia to present to the Rescue Department under the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army. The handover ceremony for these vehicles, which symbolize the solidarity of Vietnamese people living in Russia, took place in Hanoi on August 11, 2022.

Overseas Vietnamese in Russia Turn Towards the Beloved Fatherland
The Overseas Vietnamese Association in Russia handed over three UAZ Hunter Expedition off-road vehicles to the Rescue Department under the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army in Hanoi, August 2022.

– The overseas Vietnamese community plays a crucial role in people-to-people diplomacy. What initiatives has the “Tradition and Friendship” Fund undertaken to strengthen the friendship between Vietnam and Russia?

Over the past 15 years, in collaboration with the Vietnamese Embassy, the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Russia has organized meetings with former military experts from the Soviet Union who assisted Vietnam during the war against the United States. These individuals have made significant contributions to the bilateral relationship, standing alongside the Vietnamese People’s Army and the Vietnamese people in the fight for independence and freedom.

This year, the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia partnered with the Fund to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory. A heartwarming meeting was held with the participation of nearly 50 veterans who had previously worked in Vietnam.

Moreover, the “Tradition and Friendship” Fund, in collaboration with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), hosted the first-ever Vietnamese language interpretation contest. This contest, which involved bachelor and master students specializing in Vietnamese language and culture from reputable institutions such as MGIMO, the Higher School of Economics, and Saint Petersburg University, aimed to promote Vietnamese language study and research in Russia. The contest not only holds academic value but also contributes to popularizing the Vietnamese language, training a new generation of Russian-Vietnamese experts, and strengthening the multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Russia.

Additionally, the “Tradition and Friendship” Fund initiated and sponsored the first handbook on Vietnam’s foreign economic affairs published in Russia. This handbook, a collaborative effort involving scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of China and Contemporary Asia and research fellows and students from the Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Institute of Asian and African Studies, provides essential and up-to-date information on Vietnam’s economic achievements, orientations, external operations, and integration process.

The book consists of five parts, covering various aspects such as the characteristics and development trends of Vietnam’s economy, an overview of leading sectors and fields serving foreign trade, Vietnam’s economic and trade relations with global partners, and information necessary for the registration and operation of a foreign enterprise in Vietnam.

Overseas Vietnamese in Russia Turn Towards the Beloved Fatherland
Launching ceremony of the handbook on Vietnam’s foreign economic affairs in Moscow, December 16, 2022.

– In your opinion, what can overseas Vietnamese do to make practical and effective contributions to foreign affairs and promote the image of Vietnam and its people to international friends?

In my opinion, there are several steps that overseas Vietnamese can take:

Firstly, it is crucial to leverage the leadership of the Party and the support of the government, while fostering coordination among sectors, mass organizations, and socio-political organizations. By maximizing the participation and contributions of individuals, organizations, and all segments of society, the effectiveness of people-to-people diplomatic activities can be enhanced.

Secondly, diversify and modernize the activities of expatriate people-to-people diplomacy. The “Tradition and Friendship” Fund serves as an excellent example of modern structures that facilitate the coordination of resources to support people-to-people diplomatic activities, preserve and strengthen the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Russia, and contribute to the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries. The fund engages in cultural diplomacy, economic diplomacy, and scientific diplomacy in line with President Ho Chi Minh’s vision of national synergy and diplomacy.

Lastly, each overseas Vietnamese should strive to lead a better, more compassionate and useful life, acting as a bridge of friendship and goodwill ambassador for Vietnam in the eyes of international friends.

– Thank you!

Hannah Nguyen