Russia’s Putin arrives in Vietnam for a state visit – DW – 20/06/2024

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 trip, where he visited North Korea for the first time and signed a defense deal with leader Kim Jong Un.

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

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

What’s on the agenda?

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

There will be a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace, after which he will hold talks with Secretary General 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.

In addition to talks with top officials, Putin will also attend wreath-laying ceremonies, including at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the embalmed corpse of Vietnam’s eponymous founder lies.

Vietnam has refrained from condemning Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine under its neutral foreign policy known as “bamboo diplomacy.” In an op-ed, Putin praised the nation for supporting “a pragmatic way to resolve the crisis” in Ukraine, according to the Vietnamese Communist Party newspaper.

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

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

Putin and Kim meet at the height of inter-Korean tension: journalist Yee-un Shin

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tg/sms (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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