Russia promises to pay off Soviet debts to Thailand

Moscow and Bangkok share the same stance on many international problems, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at a press conference devoted to bilateral talks between Russia and Thailand. According to the president's press office, Mr Putin said the talks had been 'constructive and open.'

Many bilateral and international issues were discussed and in general the two leaders said they were satisfied at how Russia's relations with Thailand are developing. Mr Putin said that there is some potential for collaborating more closely in the areas of scientific research and culture. He also said they had agreed to create a joint business council to help raise bilateral trade turnover to USD 1.7 billion a year.

Several agreements were signed in the presence of Mr Putin and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra including an agreement on military equipment, an agreement between the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Federation of Thai Industry, an agreement between the two countries' Culture Ministries for the 2004-2006 period as well as an agreement to pay back Soviet debts of USD 36.5 million to Thailand.

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