Russian Army chief arrives in Thailand for 3-day visit

March 16, 2017 Aizhan Kazak, RBTH
Colonel General Oleg Salyukov’s visit to the kingdom is the first by a Russian high-ranking military commander to Thailand in 10 years. Russia is eager to upgrade military ties with the kingdom.
Oleg Salyukov
Colonel General Oleg Salyukov will meet with the Thai military’s top brass. Source: Sergei Bobylev/Russian Defence Ministry Press Office/TASS

In a bid to boost military cooperation between Moscow and Bangkok, Colonel General Oleg Salyukov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces arrived in Thai capital on March 15 for a 3-day visit.

During the visit, which is in accordance with an agreement signed by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in May 2016, Salyukov will meet high-ranking Thai Defense officials and visit Royal Thai Army facilities.

Russian Ambassador to Thailand Kirill Barsky told RBTH that both countries are determined to take results-oriented steps for strengthening military interaction.

“Thai military forces will participate in the International Army Games (in Russia) for the first time, while Russian Naval command representatives will be welcomed at the military parade dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN,” Barsky said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with this Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-o-cha. Source: RIA NovostyRussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with this Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-o-cha. Source: RIA Novosty

In May 2016 Russia and Thailand signed  an intergovernmental deal on military cooperation. The same day Russian Minister of Industry Denis Manturov announced  that Moscow would supply two Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ-100) aircraft for the Thai Air Force.

Thailand has been interested in Russian aircraft since the mid-2000s. In October 2008 Bangkok bought several Russian Mi-17V5 helicopters and since then there have been discussions  on ordering more.

In February 2017 Rostec state corporation's international cooperation head Viktor Kladov told Sputnik that Russia plans to deliver four military transport Mi-17V5 helicopters to Thailand

“There are additional plans on conducting joint military exercises and sending Thai officers to study in Russian military institutions,” Barsky told RBTH, adding that these were “confidence-building measures.”

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