Russian Ambassador: Foreign Minister’s visit is a new step forward in bilateral relations

RIA “Novosti”, Yevgeny Belenky

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister will pay a visit to Thailand from 9 to 10 August. The trip will become a new step forward in the bilateral relations between Russia and Thailand which are commemorating the 120th anniversary of their ties this year, said Kirill Barsky, Russian Ambassador to Thgailand in an interview to RIA “Novosti”.

Earlir Artem Kozhin, Deputy Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry had announced that Sergey Lavrov would arrive in Thailand with a working visit to discuss political, economic and cultural cooperation emphasizing implementation of the agreements reached between top-level officials for the last two years.  

NEW CHAPTERS IN THE RUSSIAN-THAI RELATIONS AND RUSSIA’S PIVOT TO THE EAST

Barsky said that qualitative changes started to happen to the Russia-Thailand relations recently. New promising areas of cooperation have emerged benefitting national interests of the two countries.

“For the last two years Russia and Thailand literally opened a new chapter in their bilateral relations. This can be explained by the fact that both nations have entered a phase of getting to know each other and discovering of new areas of cooperation. But most importantly Russia and Thailand have realized the value of cooperation between them for their national interests, for security and stability in the Asia Pacific region, for the promotion of Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership and for stepping up integration in Eurasia”, said the head of the Russian diplomatic mission to RIA “Novosti”. 

The Ambassador stressed that today Russia’s foreign policy is energetically turning to the East.

“The Asia Pacific region to which our country belongs has always been in the focus of the foreign policy and external economic policy of Russia. However it is only now that due to the ongoing objective shift of the center of gravity of the world politics and economics to the Asia Pacific as well as in accordance with our own plans of accelerated development of Siberia and the Far East this direction has become a priority”, reminded Barsky.

THAILAND WELCOMES FRIENDS WHO UNDERSTAND THE SPECIFICS OF THE COUNTRY

For Thailand the recent year were marked with a host of problems needed to be resolved, continued the Ambassador. After a long period of instability at last peace prevailed. Favorable conditions for economic development, for consistent execution of a foreign policy and for promotion of friendship and cooperation with overseas partners were created. First of all it pertains to those countries which demonstrated understanding of the peculiarity of the current period Thailand is going through and pursue a truly friendly policy towards Thailand, said Barsky.

“For the last two years a number of highest level meetings have been held resulting in substantive agreements on a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda”, reminded the Ambassador.

“In April 2015 Prime Minister of the Russian Federation visited Bangkok, in May 2016 Thai Prime Minister visited Russia.

 In February 2016 Thailand welcomed the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Thailand visited Russia twice last year,” explained Barsky. He added that within the span of two years there were many other contacts including those between parliaments, heads of Supreme Courts, Attorney Generals as well as between no less than a dozen of ministries and agencies.

"Last but not least, on May 20, 2016 a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha took place in Sochi,” summarized the head of the Russian diplomatic mission.

REVIEWING THE RESULTS AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

According to Barsky, in light of the above the main goal of Mr. Lavrov’s visit is to review what has been done in the Russian-Thai bilateral relations over the recent time, to evaluate progress in the implementation of the agreements reached on the top level and to outline ways of further development of cooperation on all fronts. The two ministers will also discuss prospects of interaction of Russia and Thailand on the international scene and possible coordination of actions of our countries in the course of efforts to find solution to global and regional issues.

“Besides talks with his counterpart Don Pramudwinai, Sergey Lavrov will meet the Prime Minister of Thailand,” said the Ambassador.

“As Thailand continues to mourn His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs plans to visit the Grand Palace to sign Condolence Book.” 

120 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP: OBJECTIVE IS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

The visit of the chief Russian diplomat to Thailand will be held against the backdrop of the 120th anniversary of Russian-Thai diplomatic relations commemorated this year. 

“This is an important anniversary, because of the maturity of our friendship and also due to the symbolic meaning of the jubilee as 120 years means two big 60-year cycles and ten 12-year cycles. Thailand was the first country in Southeast Asia with which Russia established diplomatic relations. This is a nation whose independence owes to the alliance with Russia sealed 120 years ago,” explained Barsky. 

The Ambassador informed that on July 3, on the day when 120 years back Russian Emperor Nicholas II met the King of Siam King Rama V in Tsarskoye Selo near St Petersburg, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Thailand exchanged congratulatory messages. On that day the two monarchs reached an agreement to exchange envoys.

He added that throughout the whole year of 2017 a string of commemorative events are being organized in Moscow and Bangkok by the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Thailand.

 “For example, just recently the Thai MFA in collaboration with the Russian Embassy in Bangkok organized a vibrant Russian Thai Festival in Bangkok. The fact that the Festival was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand is deeply symbolic”, said Barsky.

 “This coming October Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will visit Russia. The visit will be marked by colorful cultural performances and exhibitions dedicated to the jubilee of our friendship,” said the Ambassador adding that traditional Thai “Khon” masked dance performance is expected in St Petersburg. Best Russian ballet theatres will bring their productions to Bangkok too.  In autumn a big Moscow Cultural Festival as well as exhibitions of contemporary art and photography are planned in Bangkok,” said the diplomat.

“It is also worth noting that our Thai friend suggested a very good motto for the festivities – “Sharing our past, forging our future”. I think this beautiful slogan id the best reflection of the intention of the two sides and the current phase of the Russian-Thai relations. It is my hope that together we will be able to upgrade this relationship to a level of strategic partnership,” said Barsky.

 

EMBASSY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

IN THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND

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