Russia will consider direct flights to Cambodia to increase the exchange of tourists between the two countries, noting that the number of Russian tourists to Cambodia is rising, according to a Russian diplomat. 

Former Prime Minister and current Senate President Hun Sen asked Russia to focus on establishing direct flights between the two countries, stating that it was time to promote Russian tourism to Cambodia.

He made the statement during a meeting with Russian Ambassador to Cambodia Anatoly Borovik in Phnom Penh on June 6, according to the senate president’s social media post.

"The number of Russian tourists to Cambodia has been steadily increasing, and Russia will consider direct flights … to Cambodia to enhance the exchange of visitors between the two countries," Borovik said, according to the June 6 post.

Borovik thanked Cambodia for ensuring the safety of Russian travellers visiting the country. He pledged to make efforts to enhance economic, trade and political relations, as well as relations between the National Assembly and the Senate, so that the friendship between the two countries can be further strengthened and progressive.

Socio-economic analyst Chey Tech told The Post on June 7 that direct flights would promote tourism between Russia and Cambodia, noting the large number of Russian tourists who travel abroad.

He mentioned that historically, many Russians have traveled to Thailand, particularly to seaside destinations such as Pattaya.

In the field of trade, Borovik acknowledged that the volume of import-exports between the two countries is still limited. He added that some Russian companies are seeking partners and are working with the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Ministry of Commerce to invest in Cambodia.

Tech suggested that Cambodia should discuss and establish an agreement with Russia to promote the export of Cambodian agricultural products to Russia, that it has a high demand for such goods.

He highlighted that Cambodia’s neighbours, especially Thailand, have been major suppliers to Russia, exporting billions of dollars worth of agricultural goods each year.

“I think the Royal Government of Cambodia should take the initiative to engage in more dialogue with Russia to upgrade relations to a strategic partnership. This can further enhance relations by linking military and economic cooperation and trade between Cambodia and Russia,” he said.

Tech said it is beneficial for Cambodia to build relations and promote strategic partnerships with superpowers such as China, the US and European countries, as well as with Russia and other key potential partners, including Japan, South Korea and other promising countries.

He emphasised the importance of discussing and further strengthening ties for the economic, trade and investment interests of Cambodia, as well as other areas of comprehensive cooperation.

During the meeting, Borovik also recalled that Cambodia and Russia have a historically close friendship with a history spanning 68 years. He stated that Russia is working to strengthen relations and cooperation with Cambodia in many fields.

“Cambodia is an old friend, a trustworthy friend and a good partner, and strives to strengthen and expand our potential relations and promote cooperation for development to benefit both countries,” he said, according to the social media post.