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Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a state visit to Vietnam yesterday, that strengthening strategic ties is one of his priorities as he continued a swing through Asia seen as a show of defiance.

A day after signing a mutual defence agreement with North Korea, Putin said Moscow and Hanoi wanted to build what he called a reliable security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. He also said Russia was keen to expand investment in energy in Vietnam.

President To Lam congratulated Putin on his re-election and praised Russia’s achievements, including domestic political stability, as the two met in



Hanoi.
 
Putin was welcomed in Hanoi with a 21-gun salute during a military ceremony on Thursday, as he was praised by one of the Communist-run country’s top leaders.
 
The two presidents witnessed the exchange of 11 agreements and memorandums of understanding, including deals on oil and gas, nuclear science and education.
 
Putin, who arrived in the early hours today, is on the final stop of his two-nation tour of Asia after concluding the defence pact with North Korea. Putin has also visited China since he was sworn in for a fifth term in May.




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