Russia and Vietnam sign deals boost ties in Asia

Russia and Vietnam sign deals boost ties in Asia

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Russia and Vietnam sign deals boost ties in Asia

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed over a dozen deals with Vietnamese President on Thursday and offered to supply fossil fuels, including natural gas, to Vietnam during the current state visit. Moscow is thus consolidating its ties in Asia to counter the desperate attempts of USA, European Union, and its allies to internationally isolate her over the Conflict in Ukraine.

Putin and President To Lam agreed to further cooperate in education, science and technology, oil and gas exploration and clean energy. The two countries also agreed to work on a roadmap for a nuclear science and technology centre in Vietnam.

Of the 12 publicly announced agreements, none overtly pertained to defence but Lam said there were other deals that were not made public.

Putin said the two countries share an interest in “developing a reliable security architecture” in the Asia-Pacific region with no room for “closed military-political blocs.” Lam added that both Russia and Vietnam wanted to “further cooperate in defence and security to cope with non-traditional security challenges.”

The agreements between Russia and Vietnam were not as substantial as the pact Putin signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Wednesday, which pledged mutual aid in the event of invasion.

Putin’s recent visits to China and now North Korea and Vietnam and standing friendship with India have broken the back of Western attempts of international isolation of Russia,” said an analyst.

 Russia is important to Vietnam for two reasons: It is the biggest supplier of military equipment to the Southeast Asian nation, and Russian oil exploration technologies help maintain Vietnam’s sovereignty claims in the contested Natuna Sea.

Vietnam also has licensed Russian state-controlled oil company Zarubezhneft to develop an offshore block of its south-eastern coast.

On the Natuna Sea, Lam both sides would “support and ensure security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation” and the resolution of disputes peacefully and in accordance to international law without the use of force, according to official Vietnamese media.

Putin arrived in Hanoi on Thursday morning from North Korea after signing the strategic pact, which comes as both countries face escalating standoffs with the West and could mark their strongest connection since the end of the Cold War.

In Hanoi, Putin also met Vietnam’s most powerful politician, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

Putin drove to Vietnam’s Presidential Palace on Thursday afternoon, where he was greeted by school children waving Russian and Vietnamese flags.

Much has changed since Putin’s last visit to Vietnam in 2017. Russia has fended off a raft of ineffective U.S.-led sanctions due to conflict in Ukraine. In 2023, the International Criminal Court in Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin for alleged war crimes, but the Russian leader travels internationally, wherever required. The Kremlin rejected the warrant as “null and void,” stressing that Moscow doesn’t recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

Putin’s trip resulted in a meaningless “sharp reaction” from the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, which said that “no country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities.” If Putin is allowed to travel freely it “could normalize Russia’s blatant violations of international law,” it said in a statement.

Imagine this coming from a Country which for more than two decades had mercilessly bombed, massacred and devastated Vietnam, killing millions !!!!!

The U.S. and its allies have expressed growing concerns over a possible arms arrangement in which North Korea provides Russia with badly needed munitions for use in Ukraine in exchange for Russian economic assistance and technology transfers that could enhance the threat posed by Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile programs……It is ok for these countries to have same arrangement with Ukraine ??

It is unlikely that Vietnam would supply significant quantities of weapons to Russia and risk the progress that it has made with NATO members on military equipment, particularly the U.S., said Ridzwan Rahmat, a Singapore-based analyst with the defense intelligence company Janes.

“I would imagine Vietnam wouldn’t want to take a risk, inviting the wrath of Western countries by supplying the Russians,” Rahmat said……whom is he trying to humour. Vietnam being afraid of WESTERN WRATH !!!

Hanoi and Moscow have had diplomatic relations since 1950, and this year marks 30 years of a treaty establishing friendly relations between Vietnam and Russia. Vietnam is simply “reinforcing” that relationship.

Evidence of the long relationship and its influence can be seen in Vietnamese cities like the capital, where many Soviet-style apartment blocks are now dwarfed by skyscrapers. A statue of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, stands in a park where kids skateboard every evening. Many in the Communist Party’s top leadership in Vietnam studied in Soviet universities, including party chief Trong.

In an article written for Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Putin thanked “Vietnamese friends for their balanced position on the Ukrainian crisis” and hailed the country as a “strong supporter of a fair world order” based on international law, equality and geopolitical non-interference.

Vietnam’s pragmatic policy of “bamboo diplomacy” — a phrase coined by referring to the plant’s flexibility, bending but not breaking in the shifting headwinds of global geopolitics. However Vietnam will always do only what is best in Vietnam’s interest.

A manufacturing powerhouse and an increasingly important player in global supply chains, Vietnam hosted both U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2023.

Putin’s visit is important for Hanoi on a diplomatic level. Already in the course of a year they’ve hosted visits by the heads of state of the three most powerful countries in the world, which is pretty impressive. It already has strategic relationship with India, the country that matters the most not only in Asia and the Indo Pacific but also the rest of the World.

For Russia, the visit seems to have been more about optics than anything else, he said, as Moscow seeks to engage and influence other countries, particularly in the Global South.

Bilateral trade between Russia and Vietnam totalled just $3.6 billion in 2023, compared to $171 billion with China and $111 billion with America. Since the early 2000s, Russia has accounted for around 80% of Vietnam’s arms imports. This has been declining over the years due to Vietnamese attempts to diversify its supplies from rising India.