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Putin Praises Vietnam’s ‘Balanced’ Stance Amidst Ukraine Conflict

Daniel Kim Views  

After concluding his visit to North Korea, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam on the 20th for his state visit itinerary.

According to Reuters and other sources, Putin left Pyongyang around midnight Korean time and arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at around 1:50 am on Thursday. Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and Central Party Committee member Le Hoai Trung greeted Putin upon his early morning arrival.

This is Putin’s first visit to Vietnam since the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Initially, he had planned to visit Vietnam for two days, from the 19th to the 20th, but due to his late departure in North Korea, his Vietnam schedule was reduced to a day trip.

After attending a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Putin will meet with all four top leaders in Vietnam’s power hierarchy, including newly inaugurated President To Lam, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man.

During his visit, the two countries plan to discuss issues to strengthen bilateral relations in trade, economy, science, technology, and humanitarian efforts. They also plan to exchange opinions on international and regional issues, adopt a joint statement confirming the principles of comprehensive strategic partnership, and sign several bilateral documents. Significant agreements in the energy sector, including nuclear power, are expected during this visit.

Vietnam, which maintains neutral diplomacy in its relations with Western powers, abstained from the UN response condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an article published in Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of the Vietnamese Communist Party, Putin highly praised Vietnam’s balanced stance. He mentioned plans to establish a nuclear science and technology center in Vietnam under the support of Rosatom, a Russian state-owned nuclear company. He stated that energy is a “strategically important field in bilateral cooperation” and that Russian energy company Novatek plans to “start a liquefied natural gas project in Vietnam.”

Vietnam and Russia share a deep bond dating back to their communist history during the Soviet era. Bloomberg pointed out that Vietnam has strengthened ties with Russia, putting aside any criticism of Putin’s visit. Reuters also highlighted interest in whether potential arms deals could be discussed during this meeting, given Russia’s past as a major arms supplier to Vietnam.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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