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Putin arrives in Vietnam for state visit


Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Hanoi after a visit to North Korea. He is set to meet the country’s communist leaders and discuss trade, defense and the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam on Thursday for talks with President To Lam and other leaders. This is his final stop on the two-nation tour, during which he first visited North Korea and signed a defense deal with leader Kim Jong Un.

Russian officials have said discussions with Vietnam’s Communist Party leaders will focus on the economy, education and energy. Observers believe the two nations could also discuss Ukraine and possibly defense cooperation.

Vietnam is the third country Putin has visited since being sworn in for his fifth term in May, after China and North Korea. It is his first visit to Vietnam since 2017, though he visited four times before that.

During the visit, Vietnamese President To Lam congratulated Putin on his March re-election and praised him for acheiving “domestic political stability.”

He said that Hanoi aims to boost ties with Russia for regional and global peace and stability.

Putin said that strengthening its “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Vietnam was one of Moscow’s priorities.

What is on the agenda?

Putin arrived in the capital, Hanoi, early Thursday morning, where he was met by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha.

A welcome ceremony will be held at the Presidential Palace, after which he will hold talks with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, widely seen as Vietnam’s most influential politician.

He will also meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and attend a state banquet.

Apart from talks with top officials, Putin is set to attend wreath-laying ceremonies, including at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which has the embalmed corpse of Vietnam’s founding leader of the same name.

Vietnam has abstained from condemning Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as per its neutral foreign policy, known as “bamboo diplomacy.” In an opinion piece, Putin commended the nation for supporting “a pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine, said Vietnam’s Communist Party newspaper.

Hanoi and Moscow have had ties since the 1950s. Russia used to be one of Vietnam’s top arms suppliers. 

“Russia and Vietnam have a mutual interest in resuming arms sales, but Vietnam is hamstrung by the threat of US sanctions,” Carl Thayer, emeritus professor of politics at Australia’s University of New South Wales, told the AFP news agency.

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