Bangkok: Russia is ready to sell weapons to Thailand as it wants to see a new era of military and security cooperation between the two countries for combating transnational crime and terrorism.
This would translate into a closer cooperation between the two national armies, which could be built within the ASEAN disaster-management scheme that involves regional defence ministers and dialogue partners, Russian Ambassador Kirill Barskiy said here.
"The focus would be on strengthening security, promoting confidence-building measures and a more balanced regional architecture of security in the future," Barskiy was quoted as saying by The Nation.
He said he wished to build good relations in a peaceful and prosperous way, even though he happens to have been posted under an unelected Thai government.
He pointed out that Russia is a democracy and, hence believes that all problems in Thailand should be resolved in a democratic manner through peaceful dialogue within the constitutional and legal framework.
Russia can help and will always be ready to promote cooperation and contact with the Thai interim government, the ambassador said.
There are projects and commissions in bilateral trade, agriculture and investment that the two countries have established and developed together that are not affected by politics.
Russia will be expanding investment in Thailand's energy sector and the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the peaceful use of nuclear energy in September.
Barskiy said he was also keen on promoting political dialogue, tourism and investment.
The ambassador said he was well aware of the huge Russian communities in the Kingdom, especially in Pattaya and Phuket.
As many as 1.7 million Russians visited Thailand last year, and the envoy said he expects the number to rise by 20 to 30 per cent in the years ahead.