Photo: Reproduction

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, visits Vietnam this Thursday (20) after an official trip to North Korea. The Russian ignored US protests and said he was interested in partnering with the Southeast Asian country on energy and security.

For Hanoi, the Russian president’s trip is an opportunity to solidify ties with the country, its most important defense partner — although it has recently improved relations with the US and China.

Putin was greeted by Vietnam’s newly inaugurated president, To Lam, who gave him a hug. Later, the Russian president received a 21-gun salute at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, an important historical site in the center of the capital. A military band played the national anthems of both countries.

Vietnamese President To Lam praised Russia’s “internal political stability” and congratulated Putin on his re-election. “Once again, congratulations to our comrade for receiving overwhelming support during the recent presidential elections, underlining the confidence of the Russian people,” he said.

Putin, on the other hand, stated that “strengthening a comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam” has always been among his “priorities”, as reported by the Russian state news agency Tass.

The visit takes place at a time when the countries mark 30 years since the signing of the Treaty on Principles of Friendly Relations. “During this period, we maintained a regular and substantial political dialogue, including between parliaments, ministries, agencies, parties, regions and social organizations,” Putin added.

He also said that Russian companies are ready to invest in liquefied natural gas projects in Vietnam.

Hanoi and Moscow announced the signing of dozens of agreements in the areas of justice, education and civil nuclear energy. According to To Lam, Vietnam hopes to “boost defense and security cooperation.”

Putin still has an agenda planned with the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, considered the regime’s most influential personality. The 80-year-old leader carried out part of his studies in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

The US has criticized Putin’s official visit to Vietnam, saying it undermines international efforts to isolate him, but has not said it is surprised. In addition to the special historical links with Russia, public sentiment in Vietnam about the war in Ukraine is more ambivalent than in Europe.

“No country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and allow him to normalize his atrocities,” Washington published.

This is Putin’s fifth visit to Vietnam. In 2023, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Asian country in an attempt to seek assurances that Hanoi is not on the other side of the geopolitical chessboard.

The US has been actively offering more weapons to the country, with senior officials traveling to Asia in recent months. But analysts say the top echelons of Vietnam’s defense leadership remain suspicious of Washington. They are reluctant to tie their fate to a country where arms sales have to be approved by a Congress that could tie the deal to “human rights” concerns.

Read also: Putin visits North Korea in search of strategic alignment

Read also: Brazil does not sign a peace agreement in Ukraine without Russia’s participation


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *