Travel to Russia
Today, on June 12 the Russian Federation celebrates its National Day – Day of Russia. On this auspicious occasion I would like to convey my most heartfelt congratulations to all Russian citizens and compatriots living and working in Thailand.
This year is a special one. It marks the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand, established during the Royal Visit of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the Russian Empire in 1897. A number of commemorative events will be held both here in Bangkok and in Moscow to celebrate this anniversary.
On 5 June, 2022 modern and traditional Russian and Thai dance performance festival with participation from various choreography schools was held in Bangkok at the National theatre. The Moscow Kremlin have plans to organize here a first ever exhibition that would feature Thailand-related treasures from the world renown museum. Russian artists are indispensable participants of the annual Bangkok Festival of Music and Dance.
For decades Thailand has been a reliable partner of Russia. Our countries enjoy a constructive and mutually beneficial relations – always with no strings attached. We have no political disputes on our agenda, which can potentially impede the progress of our cooperation. At the core of such firm ties is respect for each other’s culture, traditions, history and development goals as well as indiscriminatory approach to each nation’s values.
There are many promising areas to further develop our interaction. They include hi-tech, bio- and space technologies, ship-building, environmental protection, construction materials production, aviation. We see potential for promoting medical equipment, agricultural products (grain, fish, beef, dairy products). We explore new opportunities in importing more Thai products, expanding Russian investment in Thailand, in IT-area in particular. Despite massive economic restrictions imposed by Western countries against Russia, we express readiness to ensure an uninterrupted supply of fertilizers to Thai partners. Russian-made vaccines “Sputnik V” and “Sputnik Light” are in the list of vaccines approved by Thailand, which eases travel here of the vaccinated Russian nationals.
Russia and Thailand are pursuing balanced and dynamic cooperation within global fora and regional multilateral frameworks. High-ranking political and business representatives from Thailand regularly take part in international fora held in Russia, most notably St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and Eastern Economic Forum.
We support Thailand’s 2022 chairmanship in APEC with its emphasis on the promotion of future oriented Bio-Circular Green Economy model. Russia closely interacts with Thailand’s APEC agenda and shares its goals to boost post-COVID recovery, guarantee safe passage, speed-up digitalization, ensure food security, protect supply chains with the view to upholding connectivity and bringing the regional cooperation to the new level.
Within the ASEAN-led mechanisms, the goals of the Russian-Thai cooperation have been focused on overcoming the global challenges of pandemic, promoting health cooperation, resuming travel connectivity. With the 2022 being declared a year of science and technology cooperation between Russia and ASEAN, our countries have demonstrated a rising mutual interest in various areas including, but not limited to vaccine production and clean energy research. Strategic aspects such as common response to emerging challenges, building sustainable future and strengthening multipolar regional architecture are also on the agenda, as envisaged by the Comprehensive Plan of Action for the period of 2021 – 2025 between Russian and ASEAN. Another promising avenue of both Russian-ASEAN and Russian-Thai cooperation is collaboration with the Eurasian Economic Union in the framework of the Greater Eurasia partnership.
Russian government continues to provide opportunities to study in Russia for talented Thai students by granting them 50 scholarships each year. This fall we are going to launch a new selection campaign for students willing to commence their education in Russia in 2023. Last year Russia and Thailand held the first universities rectors forum that helped strengthen mutual cooperation in higher education while in the fall of 2021 our countries engaged in the third roundtable on gifted and talented education presided by Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
With gradual ease of pandemic-related restrictions in both Russia and Thailand the bilateral tourism has also shown a sign of revival. For the first three months of this year more than 50 thousand Russian nationals visited Thailand, a figure that already exceeded the number of Russian tourists here last year. As the high season approaches Thailand may see many more Russians coming here for vacation.
To handle the growing number of Russians visiting Thailand on 18 February we held an opening ceremony for the Office of Honorary Consulate of Russia in Chiangmai that would provide services for Russian citizens residing in three northern provinces of Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Maehongson. Apart from the Embassy in Bangkok and General Consulate in Phuket, there are now three honorary consulates in Pattaya, Samui and Chiangmai.
I am confident that this year Russian-Thai friendship will only strengthen. I wish our two countries prosperity and happiness. Let’s celebrate the anniversary together.