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President Putin Arrives In Vietnam For State Visit

President Putin has arrived in Vietnam for talks with the country’s Communist leaders on Thursday. This is the final stop of his two-nation tour of Asia after concluding a defence pact with North Korea.

Putin’s aircraft touched down at Hanoi’s airport. He was met on a red carpet by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and top party diplomat Le Hoai Trung.

Putin applauds Vietnam for stance on Ukraine war

Putin applauded Vietnam for supporting “a pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine. He said this in an opinion piece. The article, published in Vietnam’s Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan, also saw Putin list progress on payments, energy, and trade between the countries.

Vietnam officially pursues a neutral foreign policy it calls “bamboo diplomacy.”  It has abstained from condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a stance that Western countries view as too close to the Kremlin.

Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam security at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra said. “President Putin’s visit to North Korea and Vietnam is to demonstrate that Western attempts to isolate Russia are not working and that Russia has partners in Asia.”

Putin looks to consolidate international support

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine in March 2023.

Neither Vietnam nor Russia are members of the ICC.

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The Southeast Asian country will be the third nation Putin has visited, after China and North Korea, after he was sworn in for a fifth term in May. This is his first visit since 2017 and his fifth in total.

Putin is due to meet Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong. He will also meet state President To Lam and Prime Minster Pham Minh Chinh.

US opposes Putin’s visit

The United States, which upgraded diplomatic relations with Hanoi last year has opposed Putin’s visit. A spokesperson for the US embassy in Hanoi said this week.

“No country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalise his atrocities.”

Russia has historically been Vietnam’s major military supplier. Putin may announce agreements in sectors including trade, investment, technology and education.

With inputs from Reuters