Spread the love

Putin in Vietnam, after the defense agreement with Pyongyang

Vladimir Putin began Thursday a state visit to Vietnam, to which Russia has supplied arms for decades, the day after the signing of a defense agreement with North Korea which worriedé egrave;t the Westerners.

The Russian president thanked Hanoi for its “balanced” approach to Ukraine, in an article published in the newspaper of the ruling Vietnamese Communist Party (CPV). Russia and Vietnam also share a “similar” reading of the situation in the Asia-Pacific, he argued.

The Kremlin leader met around noon (05:00 GMT) his counterpart To Lam, in the presidential palace, the former residence of the governors of French Indochina, during a formal ceremony with cannon fire and soldiers standing at attention, noted AFP journalists.

Mr. Putin received a grand welcome in Pyongyang on Wednesday, where his host Kim Jong Un opened his arms to the man he considers to be North Korea's “best friend”.

The two countries, united against American “hegemony”, had concluded a “global strategic partnership” which provides for mutual assistance “in the event of aggression”, and a possible strengthening of “military-technical cooperation”, according to Mr. Putin.

The United States and its allies fear that this continued rapprochement will lead to new deliveries of North Korean munitions and missiles to Russia, for its war in Ukraine.

– Support –

In the streets of Hanoi on Wednesday, the presence of Russian flags and of an important security system demonstrated the welcome provided by local dignitaries, commensurate with the long history that unites the two countries since the Soviet era.

“We love Russia, I love the Russians because they have been very kind, supporting us for many years,” Nguyen Thi Minh, a 59-year-old resident, told AFP.

Putin in Vietnam, after the defense agreement with Pyongyang

Russian President Vladimir Putin (c) walks towards a car upon his arrival in Vietnam, at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, June 20, 2024 © AFP – NHAC NGUYEN

Moscow delivered weapons to its communist allies during the Vietnam War, and contributed for decades to the training of many CPV cadres, including Nguyen Phu Trong, the current secretary general whom Mr. Putin is due to meet later today .

Russia continues to sell a large part of its weapons and military equipment to Vietnam, in a context of tensions in the South China Sea where Hanoi is worried about the aims expansionists from Beijing.

Defense issues will be on the discussion table, analysts have warned. The two countries have a “mutual interest in resuming arms sales”, which have slowed since 2022, said Carl Thayer, professor emeritus at the Australian University of New South Wales.

“But Vietnam is paralyzed by the threat of American sanctions,” he added.

– “Test” –

By welcoming Vladimir Putin, targeted by an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Hanoi is exposing itself to the discontent of its Western partners, led by the United States, who consider Vietnam, 100 million inhabitants, as strategic for manufacturing or semiconductor production.

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and American President Joe Biden all both returned to Hanoi, which tries to maintain an equal distance between the two rival superpowers, according to the flexible precepts of its “bamboo diplomacy” which combines prudence and pragmatism.

This policy could be increasingly difficult to maintain, warned an expert. Putin's visit represents “a test to see how far Hanoi's multidirectional diplomacy can go, and whether it is still accepted by other major powers,” Huong Le Thu, deputy director of the Asia program, told AFP. from the International Crisis Group.

Vladimir Putin's visit is accompanied by an economic component, with plans for increased cooperation in the field of energy, technologies , education and tourism.

M. Putin is also scheduled to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the mausoleum of the father of independence Ho Chi Minh, and a banquet at the French colonial architectural style opera house. His departure is scheduled for this evening.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116