On June 8, 2017 a gala reception to celebrate Day of Russia was held in Shangri-La Hotel. This year it was dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand.
The reception hosted over 1000 guests. The Thai side was represented by H.E. Mr. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, First Vice-Chairman of the National Reform Steering Committee and H.E. Professor Chavanee Tongroach, Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports. H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand handed over flowers from H.E. Gen. (ret.) Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand and H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.
Flowers were also sent by H.E. Gen. (ret.) Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Thailand, H.E. Professor Pornpetch Witchitcholchai, President of the National Legislative Assembly, H.E. Chief Justice Veerapol Tungsuwan, President of the Supreme Court of Thailand, H.E. Gen. (ret.) Adul Sangsingkeo, Minister of Social Development and Human Security, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Armed Forces General Surapong Suvana-adt, Commander of the Royal Thai Army General Chalermchai Sitthisad, Commander of the Royal Thai Air Force ACM Johm Rungswang, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Na Arinich and many other dignitaries.
That evening along with the Embassy staff the Day of Russia was celebrated by numerous Russian citizens and compatriots living and working in Thailand – heads of Russian official representations, Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), Russian Orthodox Church Representative in Thailand joined by the clergy of Bangkok St. Nicholas Cathedral, members of the Russian business community of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket as well as Mrs. Panga Vathanakul, Honorary Consul of Russia in Pattaya and Mr. Soopakij Chearavanont, Honorary Consul of Russia in Phuket.
Especially valuable was the presence of many Thai friends – President and members of the NLA Thai-Russian Friendship Group, top officials of various Ministries, diplomats, officers of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, former Thai ambassadors to the USSR and Russia, owners and CEO of major Thai companies and banks, editors-in-chief of key mass media outlets, artistic directors of several performing companies. President of the Thai-Russian Business Council, President of the Thai-Russian Chamber of Commerce, leading experts on Russia from Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University were among the first to accept invitations to the reception.
Many members of the diplomatic corps arrived to wish Russia a happy birthday. 32 Ambassadors and 11 Defense Attaches showed up in the ballroom while nine Embassies were represented by senior diplomats.
H.E. Mr. Kirill Barsky, Russian Ambassador to Thailand delivered a speech. He invited the guests to honor the memory of His Majesty late King Bhumibol Adulyadej with a minute of silence. Following the spellbinding performance of the Royal Anthem of Thailand and the National Anthem of the Russian Federation by the church chorus the Ambassador proposed toasts to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavrangkun of Thailand and His Excellency Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.
Starring on the stage were young talented dancers from the International Russian Ballet School “Rosinka” and Folk Dance Ensemble “Katyusha”. Graduate of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy performed a stunning pas de deux from the ballet “Don Quixote”. All through the evening the guests were enjoying the music played by the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Thai Army Band.
The centerpiece of the program was a lucky draw. Five prizes were presented for the draw. Three people won 12-day Volga River cruises from Moscow to St. Petersburg provided by the “Visit Russia” National Tourism office for Southeast Asia and two lucky ones drew Bangkok-Moscow-Bangkok round-trip air tickets granted by “Thai Airways International”.
The organizers prepared a ritzy catering of Russian cuisine for their guests. The tables were crowded with traditional treats and drinks. Those attending the party had a chance to appreciate the excellence of the Russian chefs from Pattaya and Bangkok representing such famous restaurants as “Aram Bakery”, “Kuvshin”, “Ukraine”, “Eight Horseshoes” and Plotnikov Family Café.
Many were caught by surprise when yet another guest came into the ballroom – Russian citizen Mr. Steven Seagal, actor, producer, scriptwriter, film director and master of martial arts. At the closure of the party the Ambassador and Mr. Seagal solemnly cut a birthday cake.
On the eve and on the day of the reception the Embassy received a great number of greetings. Warm congratulatory messages came from different government offices, business people, artists and cultural figures.
Many participants of the event left their wishes in the Guest Books. We would like to quote some of them. “All the best to the world’s greatest nation!” “The more we learn about Russia and Russians the more we fall in love with them. We want to tell everyone that a cold country Russia is home of people with very warm hearts!”