Russian President Vladimir Putin and Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai agreed during their meeting that Putin's visit to Hanoi last March had been crucial for boosting bilateral relations, according to Putin's spokesman Alexei Gromov. The leaders of Russia and Vietnam are participating in the annual conference of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai. Putin and Phan Van Khai were satisfied to note that a significant part of the March agreements had been realized. In particular, substantial advance was achieved in the sphere of joint oil extraction. Putin reaffirmed that the Russian side would actively participate in further development and in setting up new joint enterprises in the sphere of power engineering. These and other issues of boosting the trade-economic cooperation are due to be discussed at the bilateral intergovernmental commission's session this autumn. Among other issues discussed at the meeting was handover of the technical facilities at the former Russian Cam Ranh naval base to Vietnam.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia