BANGKOK – The Ukraine Government intends to intensify bilateral military and technical cooperation with Thailand, Defense Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Lebedev has said.
“We’re developing our relations in an atmosphere of partnership and effective dialogue,” the minister said at a meeting with his Thai counterpart, Air Chief Marshal Sukampol Suwannathat in Thailand on Thursday, according to the Defense Ministry’s press service.
Lebedev said that the sides could intensify their military and technical cooperation, share their experience in the sphere of the reform and development of their armed forces, in the sphere of international peacekeeping activities, and in the training of staff at Ukraine’s military educational establishments. The minister also said that Ukraine and Thailand could also consider joint participation in military exercises on the territories of both countries.
The Ukrainian minister also met with Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.
“We are satisfied with the level of cooperation with Thailand in the military and technical sphere and the implementation of contracts on supplies of military hardware. At the same time, we are ready to develop our bilateral military and technical cooperation, as we are interested in it,” Lebedev said.
On January 5th Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said the Ukraine will deliver its first batch of T-84 Oplot battle tanks in May.
Under the staggered delivery schedule, five of the tanks will be delivered in May, with another 50 tanks due by the end of 2015, he said. The army has ordered a total of 200 of the tanks.
During recent talks with the Ukraine government, Gen Prayuth said he had requested a speedier delivery of the battle tanks.
The first round of five tanks will be used for training purposes, he said.
Gen Prayuth said he had inspected an Oplot tank during a recent trip to Ukraine and believed the army was getting good value for money in terms of firepower and combat capabilities.
Most of the army’s current armoured vehicles were purchased from Western countries, where prices were comparatively high, he said.