Vietnamese president hails Russia’s ‘successes’ during Putin state visit — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Vietnamese president hails Russia’s ‘successes’ during Putin state visit

Vladimir Putin met Vietnamese President To Lam in Hanoi on Thursday as he welcomed the Kremlin leader to Vietnam for his second state visit of the week, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported.

Upon his arrival at Hanoi Airport, Putin was greeted by senior officials before travelling by motorcade to the Presidential Palace for an official welcome ceremony as children lined the streets waving Russian and Vietnamese flags.

The Vietnamese government’s decision to welcome Putin amid Russia’s war in Ukraine sparked the ire of the US, with a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Hanoi telling Reuters on Monday that such visits risked normalising Russia’s “blatant violations of international law” and that Putin should not be given a platform “to promote his war of aggression” or “normalise his atrocities”.

Putin’s Asian tour represents a concerted effort on the Kremlin’s part to widen Russian influence in Asia, at a time when its relationship with the West remains in the freezer. For Vietnam, the Russian leader’s visit is part of its long-standing “bamboo diplomacy” policy of strengthening ties with all major world powers.

Vietnamese President To Lam and Vladimir Putin review an honour guard at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE / LUONG THAI LINH

Vietnamese President To Lam and Vladimir Putin review an honour guard at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 June 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE / LUONG THAI LINH

In his opening remarks ahead of bilateral talks at Hanoi’s Presidential Palace on Thursday, Lam praised Russia’s “significant successes” under Putin’s leadership over the past two decades.

“We are very glad that political and social stability in Russia is strengthening, the economy is actively developing, the lives of the population are improving, and Russia’s position and authority on the international stage are steadily growing”, Lam said.

The Vietnamese leader also praised Putin for having secured the “almost absolute support” of the Russian population during March’s presidential election, which he said indicated the “very high level of trust” Russians had in Putin and his politics.

In turn, Putin said that “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Vietnam was a priority for Russia and that an “extensive agenda” to bolster the two countries’ relations would be discussed during his first visit to Vietnam since 2017.

On the eve of his visit, Putin published an article in Nhan Dan, the Vietnamese Communist Party’s official newspaper, in which he praised the increasingly close ties between Moscow and Hanoi and hailed Vietnam’s “balanced position on the Ukraine crisis and their desire to facilitate the search for practical ways to settle it peacefully”.

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