Senior Cambodian and Russian security officials on behalf of the two countries' infantry forces are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2022 to strengthen cooperation and deepen ties.

Hun Manet, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and commander of the infantry, discussed this with Russia's Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev at a meeting in Phnom Penh on December 16.

Patrushev visited Cambodia from December 14-16, meeting with the Ministry of National Defence's intelligence chief Hun Manith prior to meeting Manet. He also met with Prime Minister Hun Sen and delivered the Russian Order of Friendship medal to him on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“In 2022, the commanders of the army’s infantries of the two countries will meet to sign a more detailed memorandum on cooperation between the Cambodian and Russian army infantries, which is an important basis for strengthening the cooperation between the militaries of the two countries,” said a press release on December 17 from the RCAF.

According to the press release, friendly relations and cooperation in all fields between the two countries, and especially their militaries, are being strengthened and expanded continually in the traditional spirit of friendship and with mutual respect and pledges to help each other in all circumstances.

The press release quoted Patrushev as saying that the development of military cooperation between the two countries had great positive potential. He said that he considered Cambodia a reliable partner in Southeast Asia for security cooperation, which is the foundation of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The press release said that Patrushev expressed Russia's commitment and preparedness to further enhance cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism, international information security and transnational crime.

The press release added that Oleg Salyukov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian ground forces, said that Russia was always prepared to carry out joint exercises with Cambodia and especially to assist the Cambodian infantry by training human resources in various skills.

This was the second meeting between Manet and Patrushev. The first meeting came when Manet visited Moscow, Russia, in 2019 where he also met with Salyukov.