“Statements by US officials that the activities of the Russian Air Force, including the use of the infrastructure at the Cam Ranh peninsula, may ‘heat up tensions in the region,’ are perplexing,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the United States maintains permanent military presence in several Asia-Pacific states and continues to step up its military activities in the region.
According to the ministry, Russia’s military cooperation with foreign partners, including Vietnam, “are carried out in strict compliance with international norms and bilateral treaties, are not directed against anyone and pose no threat for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Earlier in the week, a US State Department official told Sputnik that Washington has urged Vietnamese authorities to ban Russia from using the Cam Ranh base, as this allegedly was “raising tensions.”
In an interview with Sputnik Vietnam on Thursday, Col. Le The Mau of Vietnam’s Military Strategy Institute stated that the United States was interfering in Vietnam’s internal affairs by making such a request.
The colonel stressed that Russia is Vietnam’s strategic partner, and Russian activities at the base are part of its international functions.
The Cam Ranh air base was built by the United States during Vietnam War. The base was used by the Soviet Union and later Russia between 1979 and 2002. Russia gave up the base up in 2002 after Vietnam raised the rent.