Libmonster ID: U.S.-1441
Author(s) of the publication: I. I. IVANOV

The publication of A. S. Zaitsev "Remembering Vietnam" (RFK-Image Publishing House, Moscow, 2010) successfully complements the series of publications that appeared last year dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our country and Vietnam.

It so happened that for more than half a century, since entering the Vietnamese department of the Institute of Oriental Languages at Moscow State University in 1956, the fate of its author, Candidate of Economic Sciences, retired Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, was connected with Vietnam.

The book is based on the author's personal impressions of three long business trips to Vietnam in the period 1961-1969 and subsequent short trips to this country in the 80s.

"Two years of work," recalls A. S. Zaitsev, " after graduating from the Institute in the office of the Adviser on Economic Issues at the Embassy of the USSR in the DRV gave me a wide opportunity not only to study the economy of Vietnam in more depth and get a concrete idea of the scale of reconstruction, reconstruction and construction of industrial and other facilities carried out with the material and technical assistance of our country. Constantly observing the progress of construction, being present at the commissioning of such facilities as the 1st stage of the Wangbi thermal power plant, the Lamthao superphosphate plant, the Tintuk mining and processing plant, the Langkam and Wangzan mines, I was able to get acquainted with the country, visit many of its remote corners."

The author describes his work in Hanoi in 1966-1969 during the undeclared US air war against the DRV in the essay "War through the eyes of a young diplomat". As well as about meetings in that wartime period with cosmonaut G. Titov, artist I. Glazunov, writer Yu. Semyonov, the war correspondent of Pravda Alexey Vasiliev, and many others with whom Vietnam brought him together. In the essay "The Unique Mikhstep", the author recalls the years of collaboration with Mikhail Stepanovich Kapitsa.

Since his appointment as Head of the South-East Asia Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in early 1983, the author has been closely involved in relations with Vietnam. It was a period of active and dynamic development of our bilateral cooperation in various fields. The large-scale economic assistance and technical assistance provided by the Soviet Union to the economic recovery of Vietnam's economy, which was undermined by many years of war, has increased. The interaction of our countries in the international arena was strengthened, which was based on a common position on key international issues of our time.

During this period, the author was directly involved in the preparation and conduct of visits to Vietnam by our delegations at the governmental level and in the reception of high-level Vietnamese delegations in our country. One of them-the official visit to the Soviet Union in June 1985 by a party and government delegation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam headed by General Secretary of the CPV Central Committee Le Zuan and the laying of a monument to Ho Chi Minh in Moscow-is mentioned in the story "An Unforgettable Meeting".

"The memory of Vietnam did not let go of me," the author writes, " and later, during the years of working as an ambassador to the northernmost NATO country - Iceland. I remember how, after a period of cooling of relations between Russia and NATO, caused by the alliance's missile and bomb attacks against Belgrade, invitations to protocol events and military equipment inspections at the US Air Force and Navy base in Keflavik on the occasion of visits to Iceland by high NATO officials and visits by NATO warships became more frequent. Unlike the Scandinavian ambassadors, I had no desire to visit the cockpits of an F-16 and an Apache helicopter. Every time I entered the territory of this base under the curious eyes of the military policemen guarding the gate, who were looking with interest at the Russian flag on the car,I involuntarily remembered my work in the DRV at the height of the American bombing. In memory of that time, I still keep fragments of the Shrike rocket brought from Hanoi and a container with a tennis ball from a ball bomb."

The stories and essays collected in the book are illustrated with rare photographs. The new book by A. S. Zaitsev will undoubtedly interest both specialists dealing with the problems of the Asia-Pacific region and a wide range of readers.


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