Vietnam “shoots itself in its foot” as it votes against UN Resolution regarding Russia’s spot in Human Rights Council

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Head of the Permanent Representative of Vietnam at the UN General Assembly.

It is worth noting that Vietnam, along with China, and North Korea… are among the 24 countries that voted against this resolution, even though Hanoi had twice abstained before to show its neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to experts, with this vote, Vietnam has made it difficult for itself to call for support from Western countries, especially in the context that it is running to become a member of the Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 term.

Talking to Radio Free Asia, Professor Carlyle Thayer from the University of New South Wales, Australia, gave his views on this event:

I can say that Vietnam shot itself in its foot. Vietnam has always been proud of its position in the international arena because it is an important factor, but now any country that opposes Russia’s behavior will not support Vietnam.

Vietnam has been very successful in being elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council twice and was supported by the consensus of the Asian bloc, but now I fear that advantage will no longer exist.

And if Vietnam continues to have votes like this time, they will lose more support, because the United States and the entire Western world will certainly not be satisfied, and they will support another country instead of Vietnam, or in other words, why should they support Vietnam when Vietnam is on Russia’s side?

According to this professor, Vietnam should have continued to abstain from voting, but he also thinks that this vote may show Vietnam’s principle of supporting dialogue efforts, instead of isolation.

In addition, perhaps the Vietnamese government is also afraid of creating a precedent and will fall into Russia’s situation later.

Before the vote on the resolution to exclude Russia, it warned that countries that voted yes and abstained would be seen as an “unfriendly gesture” and have consequences for bilateral relations.

The consequences of this no vote go beyond running for the Human Rights Council, according to the Australian professor:

I don’t think under these circumstances any senior Vietnamese leader would be able to make a trip to Europe for commercial reasons or whatever, because this will be brought up, if not by a member of the European parliament, then by another country. With this action, Vietnam has created problems for itself.”

Vietnam’s foreign policy has always been supposed to maintain strategic relationships with all major countries, and create a multi-polar environment, to avoid being too influenced by one party.

But Professor Carlyle Thayer said that the current international environment is making it impossible for Vietnam to continue its swing diplomacy because the division between major countries is becoming more and more profound.

And he also said that Vietnam should not expect anything from Russia, because this country is now like radioactive poison – something that should not be involved.

My view is that in the years to come, Russia will never be able to play a significant role in Vietnam.

As long as Putin remains in power, Russia will remain economically weak and isolated.

This country is now like radioactive poison, if we touch it, we will get sick. And this will be a huge problem because Vietnam and Russia have an interdependent relationship.”

Although Vietnam voted against the US-nominated resolution, before that, Mr. Dang Hoang Giang – Ambassador of Vietnam to the United Nations condemned the massacres of civilians in Ukraine and demanded that transparent investigation with the participation of stakeholders.

Translated by from RFA:

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