During Medvedev’s visit, the possibility of trading in national currencies and the access of the Russian Mir system to the Vietnamese domestic market were discussed.
While the 49th G7 summit was taking place in Japan, where the leaders of the main democracies agreed to continue arming Ukraine and became convinced of Russia’s global isolation, Dmitry Medvedev, vice president of the Russian Security Council, arrived on a working visit to Vietnam. , where he met with all the leaders of the countries. Preparations for the visit took place for more than a year, during which time the ministers of both countries visited each other more than once and managed to agree on many things.
Vietnam is now an emerging nation of 100 million people, one of the fastest growing digital economies in the region with an annual growth rate of 38% and the prospect of becoming the second largest digital economy in Southeast Asia by 2025. .
Russo-Vietnamese relations have a rich and long history that has seen its ups and downs: from significant support with arms and food, to a certain forgetfulness and cooling off. In 1950, the Soviet Union was one of the first to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam and helped it win two wars: first with the French and then with the Americans. After that, he helped restore the country and create an economy: he built factories, mines, bridges, hospitals. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese students studied at Soviet universities. During Perestroika everything came to a standstill and relations with Vietnam, like all positive international activity in general, were reduced to a minimum. And only after the trip of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hanoi in 2001, cooperation returned to the level of a strategic partnership, and in 2012 – a comprehensive strategic partnership. Vietnam maintains such a high level of relations with only 4 countries (China, India, South Korea and the Russian Federation) and is not directly dependent on trade and economic relations.
Unfortunately, trade between the Russian Federation and Vietnam was not great even in the best of years, and during the pandemic and after the imposition of sanctions, it fell by 30%, to a paltry $4.5 billion. And this scandalous omission, which was agreed to correct during Dmitry Medvedev’s working visit, is that economic cooperation today is much more modest than the existing potential.
Vietnam takes a neutral peacekeeping line in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, the ASEAN member country abstained from voting on a UNGA resolution condemning the actions and voted against suspending Russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Hanoi advocates the resumption of negotiations and emphasizes the need to take into account the position of both parties, both Moscow and kyiv. Likewise, Vietnam has not imposed any sanctions against Russia, so it is subject to strong international pressure from the United States.
Like most small and medium-sized countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is balanced between major international players, the United States, China and Russia, but tries to respect its own interests and quite successfully becomes a new geopolitical growth point in the region, including the gradual transfer of the most important factories to its territory. Famous world brands. It is strategically important for Russia to keep Vietnam as another gateway to Asia, to increase cooperation in key areas and trade between the two countries.
During Medvedev’s visit, the possibility of trading in national currencies and the access of the Russian Mir system to the Vietnamese internal market were discussed, and negotiations on the construction of a nuclear power plant, interrupted several years ago, were resumed. Russia has already resumed direct air links with Vietnam and expanded food supplies. Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Tinh said that he is actively preparing for Putin’s upcoming visit.
The isolation of Russia exists only in the inflamed imagination of some Western leaders, who are not very popular even in their own countries, their internal ratings do not exceed 30-40%. The rest of the world is actively rebuilding and establishing new friendly and pragmatic ties or reviving old ones. The Vietnamese did not forget the extended Soviet helping hand at a difficult moment and maintained a good attitude towards Russia.