Russia strengthens military-technical cooperation with Laos


Russia is beefing up military-technical cooperation (MTC) with Laos, Russian media outlets say. Moscow and Vientiane have recently signed an agreement to open a new facility in Laos in order to maintain military platforms operated by the South Asian country. "The facility will provide assistance in resolving issues of military/military-technical cooperation," the document says. The project will be partially funded by Laos.


Russia strengthens military technical cooperation with Laos
Russia and Laos are beefing up their military-technical cooperation (Picture source: Russian MoD)


Laos still operates a large number of Soviet-originated military platforms. Already at a meeting with his Lao counterpart Chansamone Chanyalath at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security held on April 24, 2017, the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, and his Lao counterpart Chansamone Chanyalath, the first stated that “Our countries have a long history of friendship and cooperation. We consider Laos to be a reliable partner of Russia. Contacts at the highest level, including the meeting of our presidents last May in Sochi, is a confirmation of mutual interest in the development of bilateral relations", Sergei Shoigu said.

According to The Diplomat magazine, Laos and Russia have long had a close defense relationship that extends across several realms, including military education, law enforcement cooperation, and the purchase of military equipment. But ties have also been on the uptick of late, as Vladimir Putin’s Russia – ambitious abroad and increasingly isolated from the West – tries to deepen ties with Southeast Asian states, and Laos’ new leadership, which took over following the quinquennial party congress in 2016, looks to solidify ties with neighboring states and major powers.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that virtually “everything the Laotian Armed Forces now have is linked with Russia.”, The Diplomat magazine reported.


 

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