China, Russia respond to U.S. lifting of lethal arms embargo on Vietnam

May 23, 2016 | 07:37 pm PT
China, Russia respond to U.S. lifting of lethal arms embargo on Vietnam
U.S. President Barack Obama attends a press conference at the International Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam, 23 May 2016. Photo by Reuters/Luong Thai Linh
The historic decision made by the U.S. to fully lift its arms sales ban on Vietnam on May 23 has drawn special attention from the world, with China and Russia some of the first to comment.

“As a neighbor of Vietnam, China is happy to see Vietnam develop normal relations with all countries, including the U.S. We hope this will be conducive to regional peace, stability and development,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday.

The U.S. lifting of the embargo on Vietnam will not affect the supplies of Russian armaments to the Southeast Asian country, deputy head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Anatoly Punchuk told Russian news agency Tass on Monday.

"Our relations with Vietnam are of a strategic character and their further development will depend on the leadership of Vietnam. I do not think that this (lifting of the embargo) will affect the export of Russian weapons," Punchuk said.

Vietnam is one of the key importers of Russian weapons. The country purchases a broad range of Russian armaments, including Gepard-3.9 frigates and submarines under Project 636 (known as Varshavyanka). Vietnam also builds Molnia-class missile boats (project 12418) under a Russian license, according to Tass.

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