President Putin has given the green light to a deal File photo: The skyline of Bangkok, Thailand, November 7, 2021. © Phobthum Yingpaiboonsuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed his government to sign an extradition agreement with Thailand, pending agreement with the authorities in Bangkok.

Thailand has made several overtures to Russia in recent weeks, while President Putin visited Vietnam. Earlier this month, Thai Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa presented his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov with a letter of intent for the kingdom to join BRICS.

Before that, local media in Thailand reported that Bangkok and Moscow had opened negotiations on accepting cards from the Russian ‘Mir’ payment system. The Russian embassy in Bangkok dispelled the rumors of a done deal, however, saying that the exact timeline of implementation was yet to be determined.

Russia and Thailand have been negotiating an extradition treaty for several years. In March 2023, the two governments signed a two-year cooperation program with an eye to reaching such an agreement.

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Russian prosecutor-general Igor Krasnov at the time stated that both countries faced similar threats from transnational organized crime, such as cybercrime, cryptocurrency scams, extremism and terrorism.

Thai media noted that Krasnov’s visit to Bangkok and the signing of the draft treaty coincided with the arrival of several thousand Russians who left their country due to the Ukraine conflict.

In January, Thai authorities detained seven Russian nationals connected who were part of the band Bi-2, whose frontman Egor Bortnik has been listed as a foreign agent. While neither the musicians nor the state police commented on the incident, local tourist authorities blamed the band for performing in Phuket without a permit. The band was reportedly deported to Israel. (RT)