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Putin lauds ties with Hanoi on state visit to Vietnam

IANS | June 20, 2024 04:03 PM

HANOI: Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of expanding his country's strategic partnership with Vietnam, state media reported, at talks with Vietnamese President To Lam on the first day of his state visit to the Southeast Asian country.

The Russian leader also invited Lam to participate in commemorations in Moscow next year, marking the 80th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Putin arrived in Hanoi late on Wednesday after a visit to North Korea. He is expected to attend a state banquet on Thursday after meetings with Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the country's ruling Communist Party, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Having been isolated on the international stage, Putin is seeking to shore up support from Russia's remaining allies. Commentators suggest his brief tour of Vietnam and North Korea is of practical as well as symbolic importance.

"Putin's trip to Vietnam will reinvigorate their comprehensive strategic partnership and shore up economic relations through trade and investment commitments by adopting a rouble-dong currency exchange mechanism for goods and services payments, " said Vietnam expert Carl Thayer, emeritus professor of politics at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Another item on the agenda could be Russia's war with Ukraine. The Ukrainian ambassador in Hanoi, Oleksandr Haman, told dpa news agency that he does not expect Vietnam to abandon its neutral stance in the conflict.

During his stay in Hanoi, Putin is staying at The Sofitel Metropole, a French-owned hotel. Prior to his arrival, a Russian-chartered jumbo jet shipped in limousines for Putin's use throughout his visit.

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