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Lavrov Visit To Vietnam 'Canceled' At Last Minute


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

The French AFP news agency is reporting that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s planned visit to Vietnam has been called off for "unexpected reasons."

AFP on March 19 quoted Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying that "due to unexpected reasons, the visit to Vietnam of Russia's foreign minister will not take place as scheduled."

"We will announce the specific time of the visit to press agencies later," it added.

AFP quoted a security source as saying that Lavrov had not made the trip to Vietnam.

It also quoted an unnamed Russian diplomat in Hanoi as saying the visit was called off for "technical, not political," reasons.

The Hanoi trip was scheduled to start on the morning of March 19 with a meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

He was also scheduled to meet his Vietnamese counterpart and the head of Vietnam's Communist Party and to hold a news conference.

There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

Vietnam is one of Moscow’s leading trade partners and a top buyer of military equipment from Russia.

Prior to the visit, Lavrov had praised the two countries' close ties during an interview given to the Vietnamese media.

Based on reporting by AFP
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