NewsPutin’s Vietnam visit: Bolstering ties amid global tensions

Putin’s Vietnam visit: Bolstering ties amid global tensions

President of Vietnam To Lam during the welcoming of Vladimir Putin
President of Vietnam To Lam during the welcoming of Vladimir Putin
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/LUONG THAI LINH
Przemysław Ciszak

20 June 2024 09:12

Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam, where he was received by President To Lam. Vietnam and Russia share ties dating back several decades. Bloomberg notes that the visit is diplomatic and prepares the ground for investments by Russian giants Rosatom and Novatek.

Vladimir Putin arrived in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Thursday morning, Greenwich Time. As Bloomberg emphasizes, Vietnam views Russia as a strategic security against major powers, a counterbalance to Beijing and Washington.

Putin will meet with top Vietnamese politicians, including Nguyen Phu Trong, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

In an article published in the Communist Party of Vietnam's organ on his arrival in Hanoi, Putin expressed "appreciation for Vietnam's balanced stance on the crisis in Ukraine" in an article published in the organ of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam. He also noted that Russia and Vietnam share "similar positions on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region."

According to Reuters, Vietnam, which officially conducts a neutral foreign policy known as bamboo diplomacy, has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been negatively received by the West. In contrast to North Korea, Vietnam tries to maintain good relations with the United States and the European Union.

Cooperation from energy to arms

Vietnam's cooperation with Russia is essential despite not being its leading trading partner. As Bloomberg notes, Vietnam's exports to Russia last year amounted to just under £1.6 billion compared to £77 billion to the USA. However, Moscow still has much to offer.

Vietnam is one of the development directions for Russian gas ambitions, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG). Even before his visit to Vietnam, Vladimir Putin revealed in an interview with the Communist Party's national newspaper, "Nhan Dan," that the Russian company Novatek PJSC plans projects related to LNG in Vietnam, but he did not provide details.

Putin was also reminded of establishing an energy and nuclear technology centre with the support of the Russian state atomic conglomerate Rosatom. Additionally, the company intends to cooperate in wind energy development in Vietnam.

Vietnam has developed its army through contracts with Russia. It has purchased aircraft and submarines, among other things. However, it now has to hold off on purchases. As Bloomberg explains, it fears secondary Western sanctions.

The Russian dictator also emphasized that nearly 60% of trade transactions between the two countries today are conducted in rubles and Vietnamese dong. As Bloomberg reminds us, Russia relies on alternative payment settlement systems, as its banks are cut off from the international SWIFT payment system.

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