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Hanoi Sinks Russia's Plans for Vietnamese Naval Base

The Vietnamese government has rejected Russia's plan to reopen a naval base in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry stated Thursday that it would not allow foreign countries to set up military bases on its territory. The announcement was perceived as a response to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, who said last week that Russia was considering reopening bases in Vietnam and Cuba.

"Vietnam's consistent policy is not to engage a military ally or engage with any country to oppose a third country," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said during a news briefing. That policy extends to foreign military bases on its territory, he added.

Until 2002, Russian ships were deployed to Cam Rahn, Vietnam and Russia maintained an electronic surveillance outpost in Lourdes, Cuba. However, in 2002, Moscow withdrew its military from both countries.

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