Despite Cambodia’s strong stance against the war in Ukraine, Russia will continue to offer scholarships to Cambodian students, 25 of which will be offered in 2023 and will increase to 40 in 2024, said a Russian embassy official.

In a monthly summary of Russian foreign policy, embassy press attache Rafael Iangareev said the Cambodian students will be provided with scholarships to study at prestigious universities in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

“It is my pleasure to announce that Russia will continue to provide scholarships for Cambodian students to study at our universities,” he added.

“Russia pays close attention to development projects and cooperation in humanitarian activities. Since the 1980s, over 8,000 Cambodian students have studied in our country. We have every intention of keeping up this excellent tradition, as we believe it helps to increase understanding between our peoples,” he continued.

He said that since the beginning of the year, over 2,700 Russian tourists have visited the Kingdom – a sevenfold increase over 2021.

“In the post-pandemic world, we look forward to a growth in Russian visitors to Cambodia, and of Cambodians visiting Russia,” added Iangareev.

As of press time, the Cambodian ambassador to Moscow had not responded to a request for comment.

Although Cambodia has expressed its opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent referendums to annex some Ukrainian regions, Prime Minster Hun Sen – as rotating ASEAN chair – extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to the East Asia Summit, held in Cambodia in mid-November.

But Putin was absent from the summit, sending foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to represent him.