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Following the American defeat in Vietnam in 1975,
the Soviet Union gained access to the Cam Ranh Bay that offers a commanding position to any great power seeking to define the seascape of Southeast Asia. Unable to sustain its presence, Russia pulled out of the base in 2002. Now, amidst plans to revitalise the Russian navy, Moscow's gaze is turning once again towards Cam Ranh Bay.
Meanwhile, Vietnam, under pressure from China, has been looking for strategic partners and has sought to rebuild the once-strong military cooperation with Moscow.
The writer is a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Delhi and a contributing editor for 'The Indian Express'