Devil deals

Readers will recall our post on The Dictator in Russia. We mean General Prayuth Chan-ocha, not Vlad the Putin. In that post we noted dictatorial Thailand’s desire to move authoritarian Russia closer to center stage. We added that with the dictatorship looking like it will stay on for years, the relationships with other authoritarian regimes will be important.

This linking with authoritarian regimes was apparently also a part of the summit in Moscow.

The official mouthpiece, the National News Bureau of Thailand reports that:

Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn has revealed that Thailand and Russia have agreed during the Thai Prime Minister’s official visit to Russia on the trade and investment cooperation that different trade models among both sides can support one another.

Thailand plans to raise its trade value with Eurasian countries in 5 years starting from the Free Trade Area negotiations with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Russia, with the aim to export more automobile parts, jewelry, canned foods, rice, rubber, and rubber products. Russia is more interested in purchasing fruit exports from Thailand.

Birds of a feather?
  • Belarus – ranked 127 on the 2015 Democracy Index (authoritarian) and at the 2016 Freedom Index, is ranked not free and gets the lowest score of 7 for political rights and 6 for civil liberties.
  • Kazakhstan – 140 (authoritarian); 6, 5, not free.
  • Kyrgyzstan –  93 (hybrid regime); 5, 5, partly free.
  • Armenia – 116 (hybrid); 5, 4, partly free.
  • Russia – 132 (authoritarian); 6, 6, not free.
  • Thailand – in a bizarre assessment, 98 (hybrid regime). In fact, Thailand is wholly authoritarian; 6, 5 (not free) and a more realistic assessment.

They do seem like an appropriate flock of authoritarian states and are unlikely to ever have to talk about human rights and political freedoms while trading and enriching oligarchs.

One comment

  1. Ryan K. · · Reply

    It’s wise to learn from our own and other’s mistakes and bad decisions. Thailand, under this illegitimate Prayuth’s military regime, has no where to turn to justify the coup and gain acceptance. So they turn to thugs like Putin, who has shown the world who he is, “a former KGB agent” who cannot be trusted. How can you trust and be associated with leaders like Putin? Thailand is shooting itself in the foot, by making the same mistakes and not learning the tough lessons Myanmar finally had to learn, when they realized that they were being taken advantage of and nearly swallowed up by China. The Myanmar generals realized it and did an about face, by turning to the west, which had conditions the generals had to meet, before they would come to the table and discuss restoring cooperation, aid, assistance, lifting of sanctions besides other benefits that have already resulted to the people of Myanmar. They have been isolated for too long and are now starting to open their eyes to the world at large.

    The corrupt, ruthless Thai military has been the main obstacle in Thailand prospering like other countries. What has changed in the two years since the latest coup? Not much. Yes, there is a semblance of calm, but below the surface, there is much anger, resentment, animosity, welling up and will rear it’s ugly head again as the repression gets worse by the day. When the millions of hard working Thais finally come to terms with the fact that the military is here to stay, that they have nothing to look forward to economically, democratically, they will be compelled to rebel, take to the streets, and use whatever means available to voice their demands, there aspirations. Thailand has had too many coups and it has set Thailand back many years indeed and done a lot of damage to the country and the millions of hard working Thais.

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