Putin’s Vietnam Visit Highlights Strategic Ties Amid Western Sanctions


HANOI, June 20 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam early Thursday, marking the final stop of his two-nation tour of Asia, which included a significant defense pact with North Korea. Putin was welcomed at Hanoi’s airport with a red carpet reception led by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and top party diplomat Le Hoai Trung.

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In a strategically timed opinion piece, Putin praised Vietnam’s “pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine, lauding the Southeast Asian nation for its balanced stance on the conflict. This piece was published in the Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of Vietnam’s Communist Party.

Vietnam’s neutral foreign policy, often referred to as “bamboo diplomacy,” has seen it abstain from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a position that Western countries view as overly sympathetic to the Kremlin.

Strengthening Bilateral Ties

In addition to commending Vietnam’s stance on Ukraine, Putin highlighted progress in bilateral payments, energy, and trade between the two nations. His visit comes at a time when both North Korea and Russia are facing international isolation. Despite this, Vietnam has maintained careful alliances with the United States and the European Union.

Carl Thayer, a Vietnam security expert at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, noted that Putin’s visits to North Korea and Vietnam are meant to show that “Western attempts to isolate Russia are not working and that Russia has partners in Asia.”

Western Sanctions and International Reactions

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the country has been subjected to U.S.-led Western sanctions. In March 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, charges he denies. Neither Vietnam nor Russia are members of the ICC.

This visit to Vietnam marks Putin’s third international trip, following visits to China and North Korea, since he began his fifth term in May. Vietnam, preparing for a full state welcome, is hosting Putin for the first time since 2017.

Diplomatic and Economic Engagements

Putin is scheduled to meet with key Vietnamese leaders, including Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, President To Lam, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. His itinerary also includes wreath-laying ceremonies, notably at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

The visit underscores the historically close ties between the two countries, rooted in their shared Communist heritage. During the Cold War, tens of thousands of Vietnamese cadres studied in the former Soviet Union, including the current head of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Trong.

The Ministry of Defence newspaper, Quan Doi Nhan Dan, highlighted Putin’s contributions to Vietnam-Russia relations, noting his longstanding positive sentiments towards Vietnam.

U.S. Opposition

The United States, a key partner and top export market for Vietnam, has opposed Putin’s visit. A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Hanoi stated, “No country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalise his atrocities.”

Russia has traditionally been Vietnam’s major military supplier, making any potential arms deals a point of close observation. Putin is also expected to announce agreements in trade, investment, technology, and education, although these plans remain subject to change, according to officials.

Putin’s visit to Vietnam underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics in the region, highlighting Vietnam’s strategic balancing act amid global tensions.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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