“Putin Visits Vietnam to Strengthen Ties and Counter Isolation Amid Ukraine War”

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vietnam is a strategic move by Russia to strengthen ties in Asia and counter its growing international isolation due to the war in Ukraine.

Putin signed a series of agreements with Vietnamese President To Lam to deepen cooperation in areas like education, science, technology, oil and gas exploration, and nuclear energy. The two leaders also discussed further collaboration on defense and security to address “non-traditional security challenges”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong during a meeting at the Communist Party Central Committee headquarters

This visit comes after Putin’s recent trip to North Korea, where he signed a mutual defense pact with Kim Jong Un. Experts view these visits to friendly nations in Asia as attempts by Putin to break Russia’s international isolation and find support amidst the sanctions imposed by the West over the Ukraine invasion.

For Vietnam, Russia remains an important partner, particularly as a major supplier of military equipment and provider of oil exploration technologies that help maintain Vietnam’s claims in the disputed South China Sea. However, Vietnam has to carefully balance its relationships with major powers like the US, China, and Russia to avoid tensions, as it continues its “bamboo diplomacy” of flexibility in the shifting geopolitical landscape.

The US has criticized Putin’s visit, with the US Embassy in Vietnam stating that no country should provide a platform for Putin to “promote his war of aggression and normalize his atrocities”. This highlights the geopolitical tensions at play as Russia seeks to strengthen ties in Asia while the West seeks to isolate it

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