Russian defense chief visits Vietnam amid talk of missile deals in the region

By Khanh Lynh, Vi Vu   January 24, 2018 | 12:13 pm GMT+7
Russian defense chief visits Vietnam amid talk of missile deals in the region
Russia's Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu (R) and his Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich review an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at the Ministry of Defence in Hanoi on January 23, 2018. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu was completing a four-day tour of Southeast Asia.

Russia’s defense minister arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday as part of his Southeast Asia tour to discuss deals for Russian anti-aircraft missiles.

Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu was welcomed by Vietnam’s Communist Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Trong said Vietnam sees Russia as a priority partner in military cooperation, and expressed support for Russia playing a bigger role in maintaining peace and stability in Asia-Pacific.

Shoigu also met with his Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich on Tuesday to discuss long-term cooperation.

Vietnam is his final destination of a four-day tour of Southeast Asia, which also included Laos and Myanmar.

Russia is a major provider of military hardware for Vietnam. In 2017, it delivered the last of six Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines and two Gepard-class frigates.

No deals were reportedly signed in Hanoi on Tuesday, but Shoigu was cited by Sputnik as saying during the visit that Russia is engaged in negotiations for the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems with a number of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries.

“The interest in purchasing the systems has already been shown by other states, in particular, of the Middle Eastern region and Southeast Asia,” he said. “The relevant negotiations are currently under way.”

 
 
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