Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vietnam on Thursday for talks with President To Lam and other leaders. This is his final stop on the two-nation tour, during which he first visited North Korea and signed a defense deal with leader Kim Jong Un.

Russian officials have said discussions with Vietnam's Communist Party leaders will focus on the economy, education and energy. Observers believe the two nations could also discuss Ukraine and possibly defense cooperation.

Vietnam is the third country Putin has visited since being sworn in for his fifth term in May, after China and North Korea. It is his first visit to Vietnam since 2017, though he visited four times before that.

During the visit, Lam congratulated Putin on his March re-election and praised him for acheiving "domestic political stability."

"Once again, congratulations to our comrade for receiving overwhelming support during the recent presidential election, underlining the confidence of the Russian people," Lam said.

He said that Hanoi aims to boost ties with Russia for regional and global peace and stability.

Putin said that strengthening its "comprehensive strategic partnership" with Vietnam was one of Moscow's priorities.

He said that he respected dialogue with the Southeast Asian regional bloc ASEAN, in which he said Vietnam played a major role.

Putin said that Russian companies were ready to invest in LNG projects in Vietnam.