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Following Putin Visit, Senior US Official Touches Down in Vietnam

Following Putin Visit, Senior US Official Touches Down in Vietnam
Daniel Kritenbrink, the State Department’s second-in-command of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, has arrived in Hanoi for a two-day visit.

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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, has arrived in Hanoi for an official visit, following closely behind Russian President Vladimir Putin's departure from the country. Kritenbrink's visit was confirmed by a State Department spokesperson, who stated that he will meet with senior Vietnam government officials to emphasize the strong U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The timing of Kritenbrink’s visit, just one day after Putin’s departure, is notable, given the controversial deals signed between Russia and Vietnam during Putin's visit. Russia used the trip to highlight the limited success of U.S. attempts to isolate Russia, while Vietnam signaled its intention to maintain a delicate balance of relations between contending superpowers.

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi criticized Vietnam for hosting Putin, stating that "no country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities." It is expected that Kritenbrink's talks with his hosts will touch on Putin’s visit and Vietnam’s position on the Ukraine war. However, it remains unlikely that this will shift Hanoi’s perspective on these questions.