The day before, on an official visit to Vietnam, the Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu has made a sensational statement. Our country will help Vietnam in building submarines. Also planned resumption of the use of Vietnamese ports by Russian warships. Vietnam stepping up purchases of Russian weapons.
"This year, our joint efforts to open a new page in the history of the Navy of the Republic of Vietnam — there’s submarine fleet" — RIA Novosti words Shoigu said at a press conference in Hanoi. In turn, the Minister of Defence of Vietnam Phung Quang Thanh said that his country will increasingly buy weapons in Russia. In addition, Russia and Vietnam intend in 2013 to sign a formal agreement on the conditions of Russian warships entering the ports of Vietnam.
The Russian delegation visited the memorial in honor of the "Soviet, Russian and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians who died for peace and stability in the region." Monument to those who gave their lives in the performance of their professional duties, is located in the Cam Ranh International Airport, created on a former military airfield Soviet base.
The reaction of neighboring countries, Vietnam was immediate: for example, the Chinese news agency "Xinhua" in response to the statement of the Russian and Vietnamese defense ministers immediately gave an extensive overview of all the wars waged by Vietnam since the Second World War. According to the survey, all the victories in Vietnam associated exclusively with the active assistance of the USSR. Thus, aid to Vietnam during the war with the United States cost the Soviet Union in 1.5 million rubles a day (stunning figure at the time).
However, if you believe the official figures, participation in hostilities, and that is very limited, only accepted the Soviet instructors calculations anti-aircraft missiles. According to the North Vietnamese, the whole war was a 4181 hit by U.S. aircraft and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. Until the end of the war, the USSR supplied North Vietnam 95 anti-aircraft missile systems S-75 "Dvina" and more than 7,500 missiles for them. The myth of the participation of Soviet pilots in aerial combat with American aircraft was reflected in the once popular song "Phantom", as well as anecdotes about the pilot Tsyne Lee Si …
Especially Chinese journalists noted lightning "first socialist war," which took place exactly 34 years ago, in February-March 1979. Then, on the territory of the socialist Vietnam invaded more than 250,000 military personnel as socialist China. Despite the fact that the forces were unequal (the Chinese resisted only 100,000 Vietnamese border guards, police and militia), the Vietnamese won. The Chinese took a number and Vietnamese ability (up to this, the country was at war a few decades in a row), and Soviet weapons. The conflict ended with the withdrawal of Chinese troops in Vietnam.
Worry about the neighbors of Vietnam plans to help Russia with the latest arms Hanoi clear: someone please have at hand a strong neighbor … However, the Russian side has made this decision after careful analysis of the situation. Vietnam — the only possible potential strategic partner in the region.
And the statement by Sergei Shoigu on military cooperation with Vietnam was done on purpose. Among other things, the Russian military shipbuilding yards have some, shall we say, difficult to load, and Vietnamese orders for the construction of submarines they do not interfere. It must be said that Russian shipbuilders have vast experience of military-technical cooperation with the countries of the region: in Severodvinsk, for example, regularly repaired diesel submarines India Project 636 "Varshavyanka (NATO -" Kilo "). A few years ago, under a veil of secrecy there well at Sevmash shipyard, has built two submarines for China in the same project.
I must say, the Vietnamese themselves with gratitude still remember the help of the Soviet Union. By the way, now in Vietnam, according to official data, working up to two thousand Russian specialists, mostly engineering managers, providing invaluable support to the industry of this country. Well, the general cooperation with Hanoi has a very long and strong tradition.
The same port of Cam Ranh, which began with a visit to his visit to Vietnam Sergei Shoigu, for 23 years was actively used by the Soviet Union and Russia as a point of logistics Pacific Fleet, which was the largest Russian naval base abroad.
This database is located on the shores of the South China Sea, at Cam Ranh Bay. Due to the natural conditions of the port is considered one of the best deep-water ports in the world. During the Vietnam War Cam Ranh Bay was on the territory of South Vietnam, and was a major rear base of the United States. American engineers have built a modern port and airport. May 2, 1979, two months after the end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Soviet Union and Vietnam signed an agreement to use the port of Cam Ranh Bay as a point of logistics Soviet VIF for a period of 25 years. The entire infrastructure of a huge database has been updated. Permanently based at the airfield separate composite air regiment.
According to the Soviet-Vietnamese agreement, lease base was gratuitous. But since 1991, the Vietnamese side unofficially offered the Soviet Union and then Russia to pay rent. And in 2001, the Russian government has decided not to renew the contract with Vietnam and advance to evacuate the base. The last Russian troops left Cam Ranh Bay in May 2002. Part of the base in 2004, operates as a civilian (now — international) Cam Ranh Airport.
In general, the current plans to expand military-technical (and I suppose, and political) cooperation between Russia and Vietnam are not based on nothing, but at a sufficiently prepared and fertile soil.