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Putin visits Vietnam after defense agreement with North Korea

The Russian leader highlighted the Vietnamese government’s “balanced“ approach to the war in Ukraine.

El presidente de Rusia, Vladímir Putin, y el presidente de Vietnam, To Lam, posan durante una ceremonia oficial de bienvenida en el Palacio Presidencial.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) visits his Vietnamese counterpart To Lam (right) / (Cordon Press)

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(AFP) Vladimir Putin traveled to Vietnam on Thursday for an official visit. Russia has been supplying weapons for decades. The visit occurred one day after signing a defense agreement with North Korea that worries Western countries.

Russian flags and an important security device were seen on the streets of Hanoi to welcome Putin. He met with Vietnamese President To Lam around noon local time at the presidential palace in a formal ceremony with cannon shots and soldiers, AFP reported.

The Russian president thanked Hanoi for its "balanced" approach to Ukraine in an article published in the newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Russia and Vietnam also share a "similar" perspective on the situation in the Asia-Pacific, he stated.

Russia continues to sell a large part of its weapons and military equipment to Vietnam amid tensions in the South China Sea, where Hanoi is concerned about Beijing's expansionist objectives.

Putin-Jong Un Summit

Putin was in Pyongyang on Wednesday. Kim Jong Un greeted him and considers him to be North Korea's "best friend." The two countries, united against American "hegemony,” closed a "global strategic partnership" that provides for mutual assistance "in case of aggression" and a possible strengthening of "military-technical cooperation," according to Putin.

The United States and its allies fear that this continued rapprochement could lead to North Korea sending new shipments of munitions and missiles to Russia for its war in Ukraine.