Cambodia and Russia will join hands to prevent transnational criminal activity and guard against “colour revolutions” in order to ensure regional and global stability and peace.

The pledge of cooperation was made during a meeting on December 15 between Hun Manith, director-general of Intelligence at the Ministry of National Defence, and Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.

“Both sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation in combating terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational crimes, colour revolutions, money laundering and terrorist financing – all of which are issues that require timely responses to ensure regional and global stability and peace,” the ministry’s intelligence directorate stated in a press release on December 15.

Patrushev paid a three-day visit to Cambodia from December 14-16 to present Prime Minister Hun Sen with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal on December 15 while also meeting to discuss security issues with Manith that day and then with Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces on December 16.

According to the press release, Patrushev visited Cambodia to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation, especially between institutions in the military and military technology as well as on international cybersecurity.

The press statement said they also discussed new developments in the pacific region and other issues that threaten regional and global security.

“Cambodia also shared its experiences with colour revolutions and the measures it had used to suppress attempts to topple the legitimate government,” the press release said.

In a press statement on December 15, the Russian embassy said the Order of Friendship medal was awarded to Hun Sen for his achievements in strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation between the people of the two countries.

Ro Vannak, co-founder of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, told The Post on December 16 that promoting bilateral ties in the security sector between the two countries will produce mutual benefits.

The first benefit to Cambodia, he said, was that the Kingdom can ease up on its reliance on China for military and security assistance. This could be helpful because China and the US are engaged in a geopolitical competition of which Cambodia should try to stay clear. Russia can also help the Kingdom diversify economically.

He said Russia stands to benefit from the cooperation because it is looking to make inroads with all of the ASEAN countries for strategic and economic reasons and other members of the bloc may also find it convenient to have another partner to deal with outside of China and the US due to the ongoing tensions between them.

“This is an opportunity for Russia, Cambodia and the other ASEAN members to establish a consistent partnership with each other. Some ASEAN members already equip their militaries with Russian-made weapons,” he said.