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Sunday July 21, 2024

Vladimir Putin lands in Vietnam after historic North Korea visit

Russia and Vietnam have deep ties dating back to 1950s and Moscow was Hanoi’s leading arms supplier for decades

By Web Desk
June 20, 2024
Russia President Vladimir Putin arrives at Noi Bai International Airport for his visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, June 20, 2024. — Reuters/File
Russia President Vladimir Putin arrives at Noi Bai International Airport for his visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, June 20, 2024. — Reuters/File 

After his historic visit to North Korea a day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday landed in Vietnam to boost ties with the Southeast Asian country.

Putin was welcomed to the Communist country with a 21-gun salute during a military ceremony, AFP reported.

Vietnamese President To Lam met Putin in the country’s capital, Hanoi, where he congratulated him on his re-election and praised Russia’s achievement in establishing "domestic political stability".

Lam said, "Once again, congratulations to our comrade for receiving overwhelming support during the recent presidential election, underscoring the confidence of the Russian people." 

To which Putin responded by saying that "strengthening a comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam was one of Russia's priorities".

Putin's visit to Vietnam is his last stop during his two-nation tour of Asia.

Vietnam's hosting of Putin has drawn criticism from its key partner, the United States, which upgraded diplomatic relations with Hanoi last year and is its top export market.

The US embassy, in a statement released earlier in the week, said no country should be giving Putin a platform to promote Russia's war in Ukraine.

Before Vietnam, Putin met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, where both countries signed a mutual defence pact.

At the ceremony, Putin said: "Today, we are fighting together against the hegemonism and neo-colonial practices of the United States and its satellites."

Kim called Putin the "dearest friend of the Korean people" and pledged him his "full support and solidarity" over the war in Ukraine, which has triggered rafts of UN sanctions on Moscow.

Putin thanked his host, whose country has been under a UN sanctions regime since 2006 over his banned weapons programmes, saying Moscow appreciated the "consistent and unwavering" support.

Putin called for a review of UN sanctions on North Korea and said the two countries would not submit to Western "blackmail.".