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1ST LEAD Thailand welcomes 'sky-high' trade with Russia during Lavrov visit By Hathai Techakitteranun, dpa

Europe
10.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Bangkok (dpa) - Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai hailed the "sky-high" level of trade that his country enjoys with Russia on Thursday during a visit by his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

Trade, tourism and cyber-security were among the bilateral topics discussed during Lavrov‘s meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don in Bangkok.

Trade volume in the first half of this year had reached a "sky-high" level, almost doubling that of last year, Don said

Trade between the two countries was valued at 2 billion dollars during that period, according to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We aim to reach 10 billion dollars by 2020," he added.

Thailand has also sought Russia‘s support in beginning the negotiation process for a free-trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Thai foreign ministry said.

Thailand is very popular among Russian tourists, especially in beach towns of Pattaya and Phuket, with a 37-per-cent increase in the number of Russian visitors from last year, Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Don.

His visit comes against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. Security on the Korean peninsula was one of the central topics discussed with Thai officials.

The meeting came two days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson‘s visit to Thailand to press the South-East Asian ally to pressure North Korea into dropping its nuclear weapons programme.

Cyber-security was also on the agenda, with Lavrov saying that cooperation in this field is part of the Russian-ASEAN platform, referring to the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

Lavrov‘s visit also marks the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand, dating back to Tsar Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn.

During his visit, Lavrov paid his respects to the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is lying in state at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

 

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