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Russian President Putin arrives in Vietnam for state visit

By Thomson Reuters Jun 19, 2024 | 2:41 PM

By Minh Nguyen and Khanh Vu

HANOI (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam early on Thursday for talks with the country’s Communist leaders after concluding a defence pact with North Korea for his final stop on a two-nation tour of Asia.

Putin’s aircraft touched down at Hanoi’s international airport, where he was met on a red carpet by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, according to a Reuters witness.

In an opinion piece timed for his visit, Putin applauded the Southeast Asian Communist-ruled country for supporting “a pragmatic way to solve the crisis” in Ukraine, in comments published in Vietnam’s Communist Party newspaper.

Vietnam, which officially pursues a neutral foreign policy it calls “bamboo diplomacy” in its relations with world powers, has abstained from condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a stance that Western countries view as too close to the Kremlin

The Southeast Asian country will be the third nation Putin has visited, after China and North Korea, since he was sworn in for a fifth term in May.

Vietnam has been gearing up for a full state welcome for Putin, his first visit since 2017 and his fifth in total.

As well as holding talks with Vietnam’s top leaders, Putin will attend wreath laying ceremonies including at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, housing the embalmed corpse of Vietnam’s founding leader.

(Reporting by Minh Nguyen, Phuong Nguyen, Khanh Vu; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Sandra Maler)