Russian foreign minister stops in Vietnam ahead of G-20

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Vietnam on Wednesday as part of an effort to bolster ties with a country that has not openly condemned its invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov, on his way to the Indonesian island of Bali for a G-20 meeting, sought to strengthen ties with Vietnam, which also has a strong relationship with the United States.

Lavrov is currently on a trip to Asia to seek support amid his country’s diplomatic isolation by the West and punishing sanctions leveled over its invasion of Ukraine. He had visited Mongolia a day before arriving in Vietnam's capital Hanoi. Mongolia also retains ties with Moscow but has burgeoning relations with Washington.

The visit comes as the two countries marked 10 years since expanding their relationship to a strategic partnership.

The Soviet Union was a close backer of Hanoi’s Communist government during the Vietnam War against the capitalist south and its American and other Western allies.

Lavrov is scheduled to depart Vietnam on Wednesday afternoon and travel to Indonesia to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 leading rich and developing countries.

Hau Dinh, The Associated Press

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