Nezavisimaya: Moscow is keen on strong relations with Vietnam to achieve balance with China

The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya reported that today's transformation of Vietnam into one of the main points of international activity in Asia reduces Russia's chances of maintaining its position as a major political partner for Vietnam in the future.

In a report by Grigory Trofimchuk, Vice-President of the Center for the Study of Strategic Development Patterns in Moscow, she stated that the expansion of geopolitical tensions illustrates the transformation of Vietnam into one of the points of overlap in the main processes affecting the course of events in the world.

He explained that Asia is witnessing today the transformation of Vietnam into a point of geopolitical influence after the transfer of the factories of the most famous international brands to its territory, and that this situation not only harms Russia's interests, but also arouses its anger and tightens the noose on it regarding the possibility of its maneuvers in Asia.

Vietnam Gateway to Asia

The newspaper published its report on the occasion of Moscow's organization a few days ago of the "Vietnam Week", which was held under the slogan "Vietnam is the gateway to Asia", which reflects Moscow's interest and desire to achieve the balance it needs between Beijing and Hanoi, as Moscow considers both Beijing and Hanoi as its strategic partners.

The writer said that Moscow did not take advantage of the status quo over the past decade to mediate and settle the regional dispute in the South China Sea for fear of provoking China's anger, even though the dispute had negative repercussions on common business interests with Vietnam on the continental shelf, and settling the dispute could have protected Russia's interests in the region and the interests of Vietnam and China, a factor that guarantees security.

The writer pointed out that Vietnam has been establishing strong relations with various countries on all continents, and this is evident in the high-level meetings it held with representatives of the European Union and the United States and its strengthening of ties with Cuba.

US sanctions

During the "Vietnam Week", representatives of some Russian sectors, in particular the aviation sector, accused the Vietnamese side of having its entire civil aviation fleet formed by the United States, a factor that prevented flights to Moscow from being organized due to sanctions.

The writer added that the issue of establishing a direct transport route between Russia and Vietnam was one of the most important topics raised during the Vietnam Week due to the obstacles that prevent the arrival of goods on time, which arose after the Russian military operation.

From a practical point of view, and due to the absence of a direct border between the two countries, the implementation of this issue is difficult, so the transit of goods through China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan remains indispensable.

The report quoted experts as saying that the arrival of Vietnamese goods that pass through the Chinese border to Russia takes a long time, for reasons not related to political affairs, but rather for purely technical reasons.

Not at the expense of the relationship with China

He said that until 2014, Russia continued to maintain strong relations, ignoring the Chinese direction, but after this date, it was forced to redirect its sights towards the East. Unlike China, Vietnam has maintained its image as Russia's main friend.

He added that Washington, too, is trying to keep up with the situation and win Hanoi to its side, which was revealed by the recent visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, during which he laid the foundation stone for the new US embassy in Hanoi.

In the conclusion of the report, Trofimchuk stressed the need for Russia to maintain its influence in Asia by abandoning its old strategy and adopting a policy based on action rather than words.

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