The Royal Academy of Cambodia’s (IRIC-RAC) International Relations Institute and the Russian Academy of Science’s (ICCA-RAS) Institute of China and Contemporary Asia have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a book addressing the past, present and future of Cambodia-Russia relations.

IRIC director-general Kin Phea said the MoU between himself and Vladimir Mazyrin, head of the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies at ICCA-RAS, transpired on November 6, subsequent to a meeting between the two parties.

He said this marks the inception of cooperation between the two entities, both concurring to co-author a book covering the historical aspects of the relationship between the two nations.

“In the field of research collaboration between Cambodia and Russia, the [IRIC-RAC] maintains an established partnership and has formalised an MoU with the ICCA-RAS. This involves extending invitations to Cambodian scholars to visit Russia and reciprocally, welcoming Russian academics to Cambodia,” he said.

“The connection is characterised by the recent signing of the MoU, signifying the beginning of robust collaboration in research between these two institutes,” he explained.

Phea said both research entities had long hoped to establish an MoU since before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it was not until November 6 that they were able to finalise this accord with a specific emphasis on collaborative research, the orchestration of shared scholarly symposia, joint publication efforts and the exchange of documents. These endeavours are designed to enhance the collective research pursuits of the two groups.

“In our recent discussions, a consensus was reached to embark on the creation of a comprehensive volume chronicling the past, present and future of Cambodian-Russian relations,” he said.

“I believe this undertaking holds considerable significance as it is poised to furnish the governments and scholars of both nations, in addition to researchers across the globe, with invaluable scholarly resources, thereby facilitating an exploration of the ties between these two countries,” he emphasised.

“We intend to provide an account of historical occurrences and present circumstances while contemplating the future strength of the relationship. We shall also examine any lingering obstacles and propose solutions to strengthen collaboration and relations between our nations,” he added.

Phea mentioned that the forthcoming book holds significant importance, given the dedication of both entities to expedite its publication within the forthcoming three years. This endeavour, borne from the efforts of these institutions, is poised to serve as a testament to the relationship and cooperative synergy that exists within the realm of research and scientific exploration between the academic bodies.

He expressed optimism that in addition to the joint publishing initiative, the parties will be well-positioned to facilitate increased interchange of scholars aligned with government policy and the budget at their disposal. There also exists the potential for the exploration of options regarding the organisation of a scientific symposium between the institutions in the time to come.