ASEAN Centre in MGIMO-University the MFA of Russia


Cambodia Seeks Russia’s Cooperation in Diplomatic Training, Two-way Street

Cambodia Seeks Russia’s Cooperation in Diplomatic Training, Two-way Street


Russian professors, whose expertise in the International Relations, has visited recently Cambodia’s newly established National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (NIDIR) and discussed the possibility of training Cambodian officials in diplomacy, aiming at contributing to improving their diplomatic skills.

The discussion focused on possible cooperation between NIDIR, under Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA-IC) and Moscow State Institute of International Relations University (MGIMO) under Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which could lead to the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the future.

Dr. Chhiv Yiseang, Undersecretary of State at the MFA-IC and President of NIDIR, established in February this year, told AKP yesterday that, Russian professors talked with his team to «getting to know each other better. They want to know what the priority need from our side is». «Cambodia’s side seeks to have cooperation with Russia such as training curriculum and experience exchange,» he added.

Diplomatic skill

«We need to have training in diplomatic skill so that our officials are more capable at work... more than just a traditional diplomacy, but to be able to handle multiple tasks, such as economic, trade, investment and tourism, and political fields as well, because risks may happen if diplomats do not talk to each other,» Dr. Chhiv Yiseang underlined.

In an interview with AKP on Wednesday, Dr. Victor Sumsky, Director of ASEAN Centre in MGIMO University that has been operational since its official launch in June 2010, said that his meeting with NIDIR was «very productive». His five-day visit in Cambodia began on June 25, 2018 during which Russian experts also met with other Cambodia’s related institutions.

«The main goal was to learn more what our Cambodian colleagues want to do in the framework of this project and the way they can improve what they are doing,» said Dr. Sumsky. «It is important to have deeper and more professional understanding of what is going on in this world from which they can formulate in some ways of diplomatic strategy to take into consideration for its interests when it comes to foreign policy.»

They also discussed the possibility of cooperation and maybe advices from MGIMO to NIDIR and its diplomats since MGIMO has established more than 70 years ago for the purpose of training diplomats, research analyses, and so on.

Dr. Sumsky continued that the mission of ASEAN Centre at MGIMO is to promote ASEAN-Russia relations as a whole in political dialogue, economic and people-to-people relations. MGIMO also engaged with similar institutions in the region. «For Cambodia, we will respond upon the request from Cambodia’s NIDIR,» he said.

Two-way street

«It also gives a chance for Cambodia’s friend to better understand about Russia. We really need improvement in mutual understanding which is a win-win situation. We are not thinking about one-way street by just providing advices from Russian side to NIDIR, but we talk about mutual enrichment of exchanging experiences of two-way street».

Dr. Chhiv Yiseang said the NIDIR’s mission is to improve the capacity of more than 650 officials who are currently working for MFA-IC to be more effective at work.

«We want to equip our officials with high professional quality so that they are able to implement the policies set by the Royal Government of Cambodia. To achieve this goal, we need to get good experience from other countries, including Russia who is our longtime friend,» he stressed.

He also said that, Russia has increased visit exchange with Cambodia over the last couple of years.

Multiple tasks

Another Russian expert, Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Deputy Dean, School of International Relations of MGIMO, said, «I am interested in how NIDIR organises its teaching process. We look to possible provision of teaching materials. Diplomacy now has multiple tasks — not just exchange diplomats — such as to be able to defend national interests, to sustain the level of political context... in the wake of controversial changes and uncertainty then diplomat needs to do strategic analyses, to ensure the positive environment to sustain the economic dynamics.»

«Diplomats in the 21st century should be very skillful in the current technological development. I expect to have good working experience with them,» said Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova.

Agence Kampuchea Presse