The “Thai Room” has been opened at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia to serve as a permanent center for learning and disseminating information about Thailand.
Dr. Itti Ditbanjong, Thai Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and Professor Nikolai Mikhailovich Kropachev, Rector of Saint Petersburg State University, recently presided over the opening ceremony of the Thai Room at the campus of Saint Petersburg State University.
The initiative of launching the project was strongly supported by Saint Petersburg State University and the Royal Thai Consulate-General there. The Thai Room serves not only as the permanent center for university staff and the general public, but also as a venue for organizing classes, seminars, and lectures on Thailand, as well as activities in academic and cultural spheres of mutual interest. This center will help promote the bilateral ties of the two countries.
The year 2012 marks the 115th anniversary of Thai-Russian diplomatic ties. The establishment of the Thai Room is part of a series of activities and projects to commemorate the 115 years of Thai-Russian longstanding friendship.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in the course of the visit of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to Russia and his talks with Russian Emperor Nicholas II in Saint Petersburg in 1897. The visit enhanced Thailand’s status in the international community during the imperialist era when Thailand was trying to protect itself from British and French power. One year later, the first Russian diplomatic mission was opened in Bangkok.
On behalf of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit paid a state visit to the Russian Federation in July 2007, coinciding with the celebration of the 110th anniversary of Thai-Russian diplomatic relations.
During the visit, Saint Petersburg State University conferred an honorary doctorate in Eastern Languages and Cultures on Her Majesty the Queen.
Thailand is now regarded as one of Russia’s key partners and its gateway to Southeast Asia. It is also Russia’s largest trading partner among ASEAN countries.