Paving the road to a brighter future

Despite being so far away from each other geographically, Russia and Thailand have much in common that can be used to build on.

There is a unique tradition of bilateral relations between Russia and Siam established way back in the late 19th century as well as the historical memory of friendly relations between King Rama V and Tsar Nicholas II and numerous personal contacts between the people of the two countries, which today make up the fabric of Russian-Thai cooperation.

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Russia and Vietnam taking it to the next level

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vietnam earlier this month, his third since assuming the Russian presidency, was accompanied by references to the ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ between both countries. This wording has been adopted since last year, clearly indicating that the two countries are getting closer to each other and intend to cultivate a special bond.

The intensity of  high-profile diplomatic activity seems to confirm this. Since July 2012, the two countries’ presidents have met each other no less than four times, while Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Nguyen Tan Dung have also exchanged visits.

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Roundtable with Experts from the Centre of Strategic and International Studies

A roundtable session attended by Bonnie Glaser and Murray Hiebert, experts from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), was held in the ASEAN Centre on 30 October.

During the roundtable session, the following issues were discussed: the current situation in the Asia-Pacific region, prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), security issues in the region, Russian interests and Russia's foreign policy in the region, and prospects for Russian-American cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

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A Laotian Tea Party at the ASEAN Centre

On the 9th of October, Alexander Zhiryakov – a traveller truly passionate about the art of tea-drinking, and the founder of a tea production plant in northern Laos – visited the ASEAN Centre. We present the following article by MGIMO student Tatiana Andreyeva on our meeting with Alexander, and his business project.

Before our meeting, I had a look at the website of Alexander and his team to gain a rough understanding of the person I was about to meet. I found a photograph of a man in a vest, smiling at the camera. It was such a surprise for me, then, to see Alexander in a suit when I met him. At first I didn't even realise that this man was our guest. But then I saw that Alexander was wearing his distinctive thin orange wristband. As Alexander later explained to us, in Laos, the human hand represents a passage for the soul. To prevent the soul from escaping, a band has to be tied around the wrist. This is known as 'Baci'.

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"Tak Kenal Maka Tak Cinta (You Can't Love What You Don't Know)": The First Russian Dictionary in Malaysia

In Malaysia, a Russian-Malay Malay-Russian Dictionary containing 50 thousand words (ISBN 978-967-0544-00-7, 778 pages) has been published for the first time. The dictionary was compiled by our consultant, Russian scholar of Oriental studies Victor Pogadaev, who currently works at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) as a teacher of the Russian language. Malaysian national writer Anwar Ridhwan served as the editorial advisor. The manuscript of the dictionary was prepared at the University of Malaya, and published by the publishing house Minda.

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