Great importance has been given in the last two days to the visit of President Vladimir Putin to Vietnam and the declarations he has made there. It is reported in Portugal’s main daily press that President Putin has signed various agreements with this former strong ally of Russia, which will tighten the links between the countries, broken somewhat during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. Vladimir Putin is quoted as having declared that bilateral relations between Russia and Vietnam “were never only ideological. Common strategic issues have always been present”. “Vietnam needs to maintain and modernise its army and Russia can supply modern technology, in accordance with international agreements”, the President said. The Vietnamese President, Tran Duc Luong, declared on Russian state TV that Vietnam is convinced that Russia will maintain its position as a world power and that Russia has the conditions to consolidate peace and stability in all of the Asian continent. The Vietnamese never forgot the precious aid that Moscow supplied to Hanoi during Vietnam’s war against the USA, a war in which the Vietcong were victorious. The Vietnamese President stated that “this visit is very important and marks a new era between our two countries”. Vladimir Putin is the first Russia’s leader to visit Vietnam.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
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