Putin arrives in Vietnam after visit to North KoreaIANS

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Hanoi for a state visit following a meeting with Kim Jong Un in North Korea, the Russian presidency said. Putin is visiting the Vietnam capital at the invitation of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

He travelled to Hanoi from North Korea on Wednesday evening after a two-day visit. On Thursday, the Russian leader will take part in a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Palace, before engaging in bilateral talks with Communist Party Chief Trong.

He will also meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Vietnamese who studied in Russia. Putin will also attend a state banquet. Having been isolated on the international stage, Putin is seeking to shore up support from Russia's remaining allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir PutinIANS

It remains unclear exactly how Vietnam hopes to gain from hosting a visit from Putin, who remains under an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes against Ukraine. Commentators suggest Putin's 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 Carl Thayer, emeritus professor of politics at the University of New South Wales in Australia and a Vietnam expert.

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

(With inputs from IANS)