THAILAND and Russia are considering a barter trade deal, with Russia seeking 80,000 tonnes of rubber while Thailand wants weapons and other goods in return, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn said yesterday.
He spoke to the media yesterday after the conclusion of his official visit to Russia. He was in the country for most of last week to attend the sixth meeting of the Thailand-Russia Joint Commission on Bilateral Relations.
Tanasak said the two countries agreed to organise a grand celebration in 2017 to mark the 120th anniversary of bilateral and diplomatic relations.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul will soon pay an official visit to Russia to strengthen relations.
Tanasak said the Russian industry minister had invited Thailand to become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Kingdom was considering the offer.
He said being part of the EEU could help increase the number of market channels for Thai products.
Russia would seek to buy about 80,000 tonnes of Thai rubber in September of October, he said. Russia needed rubber annually to produce car tyres, while Thailand wanted to buy weapons and other goods from Russia.
“Russian weapons are suitable for Thailand in terms of maintenance. But we don’t only want weapons but also other Russian goods,’’ he said.
After the success of the meeting, the two countries have decided to hold an annual joint commission meeting instead of one every two years. Thailand will host the seventh and eighth meetings.
Tanasak also met with St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko. After the meeting, Tanasak said he invited the governor to visit Thailand as his guest. Poltavchenko said yes because of the countries’ long history of diplomatic relations, he said.
The celebration to mark the 120th anniversary of bilateral and diplomatic relations will be held in Moscow and in St Petersburg.
Tanasak invited Russian businessmen to invest in several Thai sectors such as energy, alternative energy, jewellery and transport.