Russian Putin Visits Vietnam

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The leaders of Vietnam and Russia have said they
want to boost ties as the pair met in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

Vietnamese President To Lam was full of praise for his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, congratulating him on his recent re-election.

Mr Putin, in return, said strengthening a strategic partnership with the south-east Asian country was one of Russia’s priorities.

His trip to Vietnam, which comes on the heels of his lavish visit to North Korea, is being interpreted as a demonstration of the diplomatic support Russia still enjoys in the region.

Congratulations to our comrade for receiving overwhelming support during the recent presidential election, underlining the confidence of the Russian people,” President Lam said after Mr. Putin was given a red carpet welcome.

The United States has criticised the visit for giving a platform for President Putin to promote his war of aggression in Ukraine.

Vietnam still values the historic ties it has with Russia, even as it works to improve its relationship with Europe and the US.

Looming over a small park in Ba Dinh, Hanoi’s political quarter, a five-meter high statue of Lenin depicts the Russian revolution in heroic pose. On his birthday every year, a delegation of senior Vietnamese officials solemnly lay flowers and bowed their heads before the statue, a gift from Russia when it was still the Soviet Union.

Vietnam’s ties to Russia are close and go back many decades to the vital military, economic, and diplomatic support given by the Soviet Union to the new communist state in North Vietnam in the 1950s.

Vietnam has described their relationship as “filled with loyalty and gratitude.” After Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 to throw out the murderous Khmer Rouge regime, it was isolated and sanctioned by China and the West, and depended heavily on Soviet assistance.

Many older Vietnamese, including the powerful communist party secretary-general Nguyen Phu Trong, studied in Russia and learned the language.

 

 

BBC/Shakirat Sadiq

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