Written by 11:08 World

Friday Briefing: Vladimir Putin Visits Vietnam

President Vladimir Putin of Russia visited Vietnam yesterday, a day after meeting North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Pyongyang.

There were no major breakthroughs, but the visit offered Russia a veneer of international legitimacy as its isolation grows over the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin and Vietnamese leaders walked a careful line. The countries have a shared communist history, and Moscow has long been Vietnam’s main source of weapons. But Hanoi has recently grown closer to the U.S. Before the visit, U.S. officials rebuked Vietnam, saying that “no country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities.”

Here are three takeaways from the visit.

Fallout from the North Korea visit: The defense pact that Russia signed with North Korea this week rattled officials in South Korea and Japan, which have been expecting growing security challenges from Pyongyang. It’s also a headache for Beijing: The treaty raises the risk of confrontation in the region and could prompt the U.S. and its allies to bolster their military presence on China’s periphery.

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Last modified: 24 June 2024
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