Setting the stage for bolstered bilateral relations, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, extended an invitation for Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to partake in an official visit to the South Asian nation in the upcoming year. This proposal was put forth when the two leaders converged in Beijing to participate in a forum spotlighting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a project emphasizing trade and infrastructure.
Holding the dual responsibility of Thailand’s finance minister as well, Mr. Srettha revealed post-meeting that Mr. Putin had underscored the significance of the Russian-Thai bond. This relationship, which has a rich history spanning over 125 years, has laid the bedrock for thriving bilateral trade and vibrant cultural exchanges.
The Thai leadership’s recent move to extend visa exclusion for Russian visitors, from the previous 30 days to now 90 days, was applauded by Mr. Putin. He commended Thailand’s strategy to stimulate its economy through the vital artery of tourism. This appreciation was shared by Prime Minister Thavisin who stated, “[Mr. Putin] himself is fond of Phuket and it is my understanding that the resort island is frequent in his travel itinerary.”
In an attempt to solidify their warm relations, Mr. Thavisin has invited Mr. Putin to make an official visit to Thailand the following year, an offer which Mr. Putin graciously accepted. The Thai Prime Minister added, “The fact that he speaks a smattering of Thai testifies to his familiarity and affinity with our country.”
According to an insider’s report, Mr. Putin has accepted this invitation from his Thai counterpart, and the official date for the visit is anticipated to be announced shortly. Post meeting discussion, government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, highlighted that both leaders – Mr. Thavisin and Mr. Putin, mutually aspire to strengthen ties through extended collaborative efforts.
Russian President Putin observed that Russia and Thailand historically share robust relations and it’s about time that they ventured to enhance their alliance on both the bilateral and multilateral front, with a special focus on cultural and sports aspects. Mr. Chai further revealed that the year 2024 has been earmarked to champion cultural and tourism exchanges between the two nations.
Earlier this week, the extended tourist visa waiver, from a month-long to a three-month long stay for Russian visitors, was given the nod by the cabinet. This green signal came against the backdrop of the influx of a million Russian nationals entering Thailand’s territory. The two supremos also engaged in dialogue touching upon the potential political agreement, which could pave the way for initiating programs focusing on national security authorities and trade between both nations.