BANGKOK, August 10. /TASS/. Moscow hails Thailand’s initiative to open an ASEAN cyber security center as very topical and is interested in establishing contacts with that center, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday after talks with his Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai.
"Among the relatively new topics appearing on our agenda, I would like to mention cyber security," he said. "Our friends from Thailand informed about Thai prime minister’s initiative to open an ASEAN cyber security center."
"We consider this initiative very important and topical. Relevant Russian structures will be interested in establishing contacts with such center," Lavrov stressed.
Lavrov has invited his Thai counterpart to pay a working visit to Russia. "I would like confirm the invitation to my friend, Dear Mr. Minister to visit Russia at any time he finds convenient," he said.
"We agreed to hold a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation before the end of this year," he said. "As part of preparations for this meeting, it is planned to hold sessions of working groups operating under this commission, including working groups on agriculture, on environmental cooperation and on tourism."
"It is also planned to hold this year a regular meeting of the working group on military technical cooperation," Lavrov noted. "We discussed preparations for this major event."
Moscow and Bangkok are committed to settlement of international and regional conflict solely by peaceful means on the basis of the United Nations Charter, Lavrov said.
"Concerning international and regional affairs, we stated the closeness or identity of our approaches to key problems of the international agenda," he said. "Both Russia and Thailand support the United Nations’ central role in settling global problems, support peaceful ways of settling conflicts and crises on the basis of the United Nations Charter."
He said Russia’s and Thailand’s delegations are closely cooperating within the United Nations and within Asia Pacific format, including ASEAN’s annual events.
"As part of Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership, we focus special attention on boosting the efficiency of anti-terror efforts, of efforts against organized crime and drug trafficking," Lavrov stressed.
The Thai top diplomat went on to say that trade between Thailand and Russia "has considerably grown this year."
"Now, we have by half as much as we had a year ago. We are moving towards our goal of ten billion U.S. dollars," he said, adding that during his talks with Lavrov they had touched upon issues of cooperation in the agrarian sector and in trade.
According to Thailand’s customs authority, trade between Thailand and Russian went by 79.5% in January-May 2017 on the same period last year, to reach 1.15 billion U.S. dollars. Thailand’s exports to Russia increased by 48.8%, to 323.4 million U.S. dollars, while imports from Russia jumped by 95.3%, to 823.8 million U.S. dollars.
Lavrov noted the number of Russian tourists who visited Thailand in 2017 will soon reach the 2014 record level.
"Speaking about tourism, we note with satisfaction that the number of Russians who visited Thailand has grown by 37% for the first five months of this year," the minister noted. "We have no doubts that soon we will reach a record level of Russian tourists’ visits that was reached in 2014 and stood at 1,600,000 people."