Vietnamese President Praises Putin Amid U.S. Criticism Over State Visit

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HANOI, June 20 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a “reliable security architecture” in the Asia-Pacific during his state visit to Vietnam on Thursday, a move seen as a defiance against the West. This visit followed the signing of a mutual defense agreement with North Korea.

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During a military ceremony in Vietnam, Putin received a 21-gun salute and warm embraces from Vietnam’s Communist leaders. Vietnam’s president lauded Putin’s contributions to “peace, stability, and development” worldwide.

The United States and its allies criticized Vietnam for hosting Putin, arguing that it gave the Russian leader a platform to defend Russia’s war in Ukraine. Despite this, Russia and Vietnam signed multiple agreements, including in energy, highlighting Moscow’s pivot to Asia following Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.

“We are firmly committed to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam, which remains among the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy,” Putin was quoted by Russian media.

Putin emphasized a shared interest with Vietnam in developing a security framework in the region that avoids the use of force and resolves disputes peacefully, without forming closed military-political blocs.

At a concluding news conference, Putin accused NATO of creating a security threat for Russia in Asia. While the 11 agreements signed in Hanoi did not match the significance of the mutual defense pact with North Korea, Putin’s reception was a public relations win for the Russian leader, who faces an International Criminal Court arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine—charges he denies. Neither Russia nor Vietnam is an ICC member.

“Putin’s triumphal reception in Hanoi contrasts with Russia’s recent setbacks,” said Carlyle Thayer, emeritus professor at the Australian Defence Force Academy, noting recent EU sanctions on Russia and a Ukraine conference in Switzerland.

These latest sanctions follow Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

Putin’s visit to Vietnam, unlike his trip to North Korea, was notable due to Vietnam’s friendly relations with the United States and its allies. Zachary Abuza, a professor at the U.S. National War College, pointed out that Vietnam is a significant player in the global economy, not a pariah state.

The high-level military ceremony to welcome Putin, attended by Vietnamese President To Lam and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, reflected the importance of the visit. The leaders witnessed the signing of agreements on oil and gas, nuclear science, and education.

Lam praised Putin for leading Russia through challenges while contributing to regional and global peace and stability. Abu

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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