Russia–Thailand relations

Russia-Thailand relations



Russia–Thailand relations (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Russia is a participating state and Thailand is a partner).


  • Economic ties 1
    • Bilateral trade 1.1
    • Tourism 1.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4
    • Diplomatic missions 4.1

Economic ties

Bilateral trade

Official figures of trade volume published by two countries contradict each other.

  • According to Thai sources, trade with Russia in 2008 reached 2.11 billion US dollars; Thailand has a trade deficit of 1.76 billion US dollars.[1] Russia exports mineral resources, while Thailand exports auto parts, electronics and foodstuffs.[1]
  • According to Russian customs service, Russian exports to Thailand in 2008 amounted to 1.23 billion, imports to 1.49 billion, leaving Russia with a deficit of 254 million US dollars.[2] In total, trade with Thailand is only 0.4% of Russian foreign trade.[2] According to Russian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is Russia's largest trading partner in South-eastern Asia and third largest buyer of Russian ferrous metals worldwide.[3]

As recently as in 2002, Russia had a significant trade deficit and imported significant (up to half a million metric tons p.a.)[4] amounts of Thai rice.[5] In 2005 Russia imposed prohibitive protectionist tariffs on rice, then an embargo on Thai rice and a full ban on imports of Thai rice in 2007, citing pest infection.[4]

In 2004 Thailand approached Russian authorities about the prospects of buying 12 Su-30 jet fighters. Thai chicken industry, weakened by avian influenza crisis,[6] enthusiastically backed the deal, betting on reciprocal easing of Russian food import regime, but the deal never materialized.[7] In October 2008 Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat agreed to purchase Russian Mi-17 military helicopters, breaking with dependence on American weapons,[8] however his government was ousted two months later.


Thailand is one of the major tropical destinations for tourists from Russia. However, numbers provided by the Thai authorities are contested by Russians as artificially inflated, and Thai authorities contest that Russian numbers are too small:

  • Russian border guards reported 259,000 departures to Thailand in 2008 (235,000 in 2007). Turkey, the most common destination, accounts for 2.2 million departures.[9] Thai government sources noted that the Russian number includes only direct flights, leaving out tourists that fly with stopovers elsewhere[10] and reported 279,000 Russian tourists for 2007.[1]
  • Thai tourist service reported 456,972 Russian "tourist visits" to Pattaya alone in January–March 2007 (of a total of 1.57 million). Russian commentators note that Thais actually counted hotel nights and their number should be divided by a factor of 10 to 11.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Thai-Russian Bilateral Relations: Statistics". Embassy of Thailand in Moscow. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Foreign trade of Russia by partner country (in Russian)". Federal Customs Service. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  3. ^ "Trade and Economic Cooperation". Embassy of Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Thailand. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  4. ^ a b "Thailand Confirms Russia Ban On Thai Rice Imports".  
  5. ^ "Russia ready to adopt account trade with Thailand"., March 14, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Thailand: Russian Arms For Chicken Wings?".  
  7. ^ "CPF Backs Chicken for Fighter Jets: Plans to Barter With Thai Farm Products".  
  8. ^ "Thailand spurns U.S., buys Russian helicopters".  
  9. ^ "Official statistics of Russian State Tourism Service, 2007-2008". Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  10. ^ a b "Tayskaya Pattaya prevratilas...".  

External links

  • (Russian) Documents on the Russia–Thailand relationship at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • St. Petersburg's Man in Siam: A.E. Olarovskii and Russia's Asian Mission, 1898-1905

Diplomatic missions

  • Embassy of Russia in Bangkok
  • (Russian) (Thai) Embassy of Thailand in Moscow
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