Russia's Special Military Operation in Ukraine: Vietnam’s stance

Britov I.V.


The article analyzes the official position of Vietnam on Russia's special military operation in Ukraine and reasons why Hanoi has declared the policy of neutrality on the issue. It notes that a definitive choice of either Russia or Ukraine by Vietnam would be harmful for its international standing, the domestic economic situation, and the achievement of large-scale national objectives. Nonetheless, politicians and experts try to discern either a pro-Russian or a pro-Ukrainian stance behind any action or statement of Hanoi officials on the events unfolding in Ukraine. The article presents an analysis of factors, which, on the one hand, prevent Vietnam from taking part in the Western anti-Russian campaign and, on the other hand, do not allow it to vocally support Russia. The first group of factors includes the status of the comprehensive strategic partnership, which Russia and Vietnam established in 2012; the influence of China’s stance in regard to Ukraine on Hanoi; historical analogies related to the deployment of Vietnamese forces to Cambodia to deal with the high threat to Vietnam’s security from the Khmer Rouge; and mixed sentiment towards the political image of the incumbent Ukrainian president in Vietnam. The second group of factors includes the political pressure on Vietnam from the countries listed by Russia as «unfriendly»; Hanoi’s fears of economic sanctions against it over support to Russia; and the need to ensure security of Vietnamese citizens in Ukraine. The article predicts a possible change in the Vietnamese posture depending on further progress and results of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.


Russia; Ukraine; special military operation; Western anti-Russian campaign; stance of Vietnam.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2022.04.04

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