The interaction between Russia and Cambodia in the field of education, culture, sports, youth exchanges and interfaith contacts is generally one of the most successfully developing components of bilateral relations.
In terms of the development of the bilateral legal framework in the humanitarian field the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation in 1995 was of utmost importance.
Further, in 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports (the Russian Federation) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia was concluded, in 2006 - the intergovernmental Program of cultural exchanges, in 2013 - the Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Academy of Cambodia and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in 2016 - between the Moscow University of Technology and the Phnom Penh Institute of Technology, in 2015 - the Program of joint actions in the field of tourism for the period 2015–2017, in 2017 - the Program of joint action in the field of tourism for the period 2018–2020.
In November 2015, during a visit of the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the Kingdom a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Culture of Russia and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia and the Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of health between the Ministry of Health of Russia and the Ministry of Health of Cambodia were signed.
On 17-20 May 2016, a visit of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen to Russia took place, during which a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Olympic committees of the two countries was signed.
On 3 June 2019, during the Days of Culture of Cambodia in Russia, the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of Cambodia Phoeurng Sackona signed a Memorandum of Understanding between relevant ministries of both countries.
In recent years, there has been a marked intensification of delegational exchange and participation in cultural events. On June 26 - July 4, 2014, the dance group from Cambodia performed with great success at the Krasnoyarsk International Music Festival of the Asia-Pacific countries.
On July 3-4, 2014, the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona participated in the ASEM Conference on International and Cultural Dialogue in St. Petersburg. In early December 2014, representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Cambodia also participated in the 3rd International Cultural Forum in St. Petersburg. On December 14–16, 2015, a delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom led by Deputy Minister Chuch Phoeurn attended the 4th International Cultural Forum in St. Petersburg. On November 25-29, 2015, Deputy Director of the Department of Cinematography Pok Vorak participated in the International Forum "The Role of People's Diplomacy in the Development of International Humanitarian Cooperation" in Moscow. On May 15-19, 2018, the Minister of Justice of the Kingdom Ang Vong Vathana participated in the 8th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. On September 20-21, 2018, a high-ranking Cambodian delegation attended the Second Eurasian Women's Forum in St. Petersburg.
In December 2015, a group of Russian artists - members of the public organization “Bureau of Creative Expeditions” in the framework of the project “ASEAN Countries through the Eyes of Russian Artists” visited Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, where it was received by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Royal Court Kong Samol.
On May 18–20, 2016, on the sidelines of the anniversary summit in Sochi on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership, a meeting of the Ministers of Culture of Russia and the Association was organized, which was attended by the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom Phoeurng Sackona. Cambodian artists performed at the First Russia-ASEAN Inter-Ethnic Festival of Cultures organized as part of the Sochi events.
On February 6, 2018, in a solemn atmosphere of the Russian Embassy, Ambassador Dmitry Tsvetkov handed over to the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of the Kingdom Phoeurng Sackona a copy of the film "The Story of My Father" directed by the VGIK graduate Chheng Sovanna, shot as his thesis in 1987 and being one of the first pages of Cambodian cinema history.
Due to developing cooperation with the Russian World Foundation, the Library of the Senate of the Kingdom was replenished with books and videos on the history and culture of Russia. At the beginning of November 2014, a delegation from Cambodia headed by the President of the Alumni Association of Russian / Soviet universities “Lide Khmer” Lee Resmeem took part in the 8th Assembly, organized by the Russian World Foundation in Sochi. During this event, a meeting was held between the rector of the International University "Sen Seok" Szabo Ozheano and the management of the Foundation.
Great interaction potential exists in the field of education. In the USSR / Russia over the years of cooperation there have prepared more than 8 thousand Cambodian specialists currently working in practically all government bodies, various business structures. As of February 2019 about 330 Cambodians are being educated in Russia at the expenses of the federal budget. An intergovernmental agreement on the mutual recognition of diplomas has been agreed and is being prepared for signing.
In September – October 2015, Russian language courses were organized for a group of thirty employees of travel agencies of the Association's member countries under the auspices of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund project in Siem Reap. The issue of conducting similar courses in the Kingdom this year is being studied.
The delegation of Cambodian graduates of MGIMO participated in the celebration of its 70th anniversary and in the 2nd Forum of MGIMO graduates in Moscow in October 2014. In October 2015, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia Hang Chuon Naron attended the 3rd MGIMO Alumni Forum in Yerevan (Armenia). On June 24-28, 2018, the delegation of the ASEAN Center at MGIMO headed by Director V.V.Sumky visited Phnom Penh. On February 17-21, 2019, MGIMO was visited by a delegation of the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations under the Foreign Ministry of Cambodia, headed by its President Chiv Yiseng. A bilateral memorandum of cooperation has been signed.
On October 27, 2015, Phnom Penh Institute of Technology launched an opening ceremony of a memorial stele initiated by the Embassy and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom, which was dedicated to establishment of the complex of buildings of the higher educational institution built by the Soviet Union in 1964 as a gift to the Cambodian people. Within the framework of this solemn event (with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Government Office Sok An, Education and Culture Ministers Hang Chuon Naron and Phoeurng Sackona) an exhibition was organized, where photos of the opening ceremony of the Higher Technical Institute of Cambodian-Soviet Friendship were presented. (Current Technological Institute).
On September 1-2, 2016, the Cambodian delegation led by Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron participated in the 1st Russia-ASEAN University Forum in Vladivostok, which brought together about 140 government officials, rectors, scientists and experts from leading universities in Russia and member countries of the Association.
From 12 to 16 October 2017, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron visited Russia, where, in addition to participating in the International Ministerial Meeting of Heads of Departments responsible for Implementing Youth Policy, he also visited the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Russian State Agricultural University.
On June 27-30, 2018, a delegation from the RUDN-University headed by the first vice-rector E.L.Shesnyak visited Cambodia.
On February 18, 2019, a delegation of the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations of Cambodia headed by the Deputy Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom, Director of the Institute Chiv Yiseng visited the MGIMO-University under the Russian Foreign Ministry. The delegation was accepted by the rector A.V. Torkunov, vice-rectors for general issues A.V. Malgin, masters and international programs A.A.Baikov and the director of the ASEAN Center at the University V.V.Sumsky.
At the end of the events, A.V. Torkunov and Chkhiv Yiseng signed a Memorandum on cooperation in the field of science and education between the two universities.
Media interaction is also on a roll. In 2010 an agreement on cooperation between ITAR-TASS and the Cambodian Information Agency in the field of exchange information was signed, in 2011 - a Memorandum of cooperation and mutual support in the organization of television broadcasting between TV News (news agency “Russia Today”) and the National Television of Cambodia. On July 4, 2012, in Moscow, during the World Media Summit, a cooperation agreement was signed between RIA Novosti and the Cambodian Information Agency. In the same year, the Russian-Cambodian project of paid digital terrestrial television was launched with the participation of the corporation General Satellite (St. Petersburg) and the Cambodian Royal Group of Companies.
In November 2015, a Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded between the Russia Today news agency and the National Radio of Cambodia. On May 17, 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Moscow between the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of Russia and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of Cambodia on cooperation in the field of communications and information technologies.
October 26–28, 2016, Director General of the TASS Information Agency of Russia S.V. Mikhailov visited Cambodia, where hold meetings with the Cambodian Information Agency Director General Sok Mom Nimul, Minister of Information of Cambodia Khieu Kannyarit and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Government Svay Sitha.
In July 2015, the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) delegation took part in the Territory of Meanings of All-Russian Youth Educational Forum and in October 2015 – in the 3rd Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit in Vladivostok.
The Russian side is studying the issue of joining the activities of the International Coordinating Committee on the Preservation of the Preah Vihear Temple Complex and the restoration of one of its gates - Gopury-IV. To determine the scope of work and its financing the specified object was examined by a group of Russian experts in December 2017.
Strengthened contacts in the field of youth policy. In 2012-2014, representatives of the UYFC participated in the international forum "INTERSELIGER", in 2014 and 2016 - rally "Taurida".
On January 28–29, 2015, the first visit of the head of Rosmolodezh to the Kingdom took place. The Russian delegation, headed by S.V.Pospelov, was received by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and held talks with the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hang Chuon Naron, as well as a member of the National Assembly, the Chairman of the UYFC Hun Many. In the course of these contacts, specific issues of expanding humanitarian, business and cultural ties among youth, as well as helping to strengthen cooperation in the framework of international youth platforms and the implementation of joint programs were discussed. Practical areas of cooperation were recorded in the agreement on cooperation signed by the head of “National Council of Youth and Children's Associations of Russia” (NCYCAR) G.V. Petushkov and UYFC leader Hun Many.
In July 2015, a Cambodian delegation headed by the Chairman of the UYFC Hun Many visited Russia with a return visit.
On April 12-17, 2015, the International Youth Festival took place on the territory of the Angkor temple complex in the Siem Reap province, organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports together with the UYFC. The delegation of Russia also took part in the work of this festival.
On April 19–24, 2016, at the invitation of the UYFC, a delegation led by NCYCAR leader G.V. Petushkov visited Cambodia. On May 15–20, 2016, a program of trainings, round tables and seminars on social media was organized for employees of the Press and Rapid Response Department of the Royal Government in Moscow through Rosmolodezh. From 23 to 25 June 2016, within the framework of the program of short-term study visits to Russia of young representatives of political, public, academic and business circles of foreign countries (“New Generation”), Deputy Secretary General of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development Vatan San went to Vladivostok to participate in the international conference "Food Security in the Asia-Pacific Region". On August 14–20, 2016, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Kingdom took part in the event “Young leaders of social NGOs and projects” of the All-Russia youth educational forum “Territory of meanings on Klyazma”. On September 7–11, 2016, the Chairman of the UYFC Hun Many took part in the I International Educational Youth Forum “Eurasia” in the Orenburg Region.
On October 24–27, 2016, the 4th Russia – ASEAN Youth Summit was held in Siem Reap, which brought together youth teams from dozens of countries and a team from Russia. The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom Prak Sokhonn, the Ambassador on Special Assignments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation A.A.Ivanov and the Chairman of the UYFC Hun Many.
In 2017, the delegation of the UYFC headed by Minister of the Environment Say Samal took part in the Russian-Cambodian forum in Moscow.
From 13 to 23 October 2017, the delegation of the Kingdom took part in XIX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, during which the Chairman of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia Hun Many spoke on the topic “International Youth Cooperation as a Way to a Peace Agenda”. Director General of the Youth Affairs Department Chiv Ratha also attended the opening of the festival.
In April 2018, a delegation of NCYCAR headed by G.V. Petushkov attended the 14th meeting of the General Assembly of the Asian Youth Council.
On March 6 2019, during the ceremony at the Embassy’s hall Ambassador handed to the Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Education, Youth, Sports, Religion, Culture and Tourism and the Union of Youth Federation of Cambodia Hun Many a commemorative medal established by the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin for the contribution to the preparation and holding of the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi in 2017.
A bilateral memorandum on cooperation in the field of youth policy is being prepared for signing.
Developing contacts in the field of sports. On October 20–22, 2015, the Cambodian delegation headed by the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee Wat Temraen participated in the 1st World Olympians Forum in Moscow. On February 4, 2016, in Phnom Penh, during the solemn ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, the head of the international department of the Russian Gymnastics Federation (RGF) V.Solomatov handed over gymnastic equipment from the RGF to the President of the national Olympic Committee, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom Thong Khon.
July 5–17, 2016, the VI International Sports Games “Children of Asia” took place in Yakutsk, in which Cambodian taekwondo sportsmen took part.
Bilateral cooperation in tourism is being strengthened. After some decline in tourist traffic from our country in recent years, the figures show growth again. In 2014, Cambodia was visited by more than 108 thousand Russian tourists, in 2015-2016 - annually about 50 thousand people, in 2017 - 47 thousand people, in 2018 - about 55 thousand people. On February 4–6, 2015, Deputy Head of Rosturism N.V. Korolev took part in the World Conference on Culture and Tourism: “Creating New Partnership Models” in Siem Reap.
Representatives of the tourism industry of the Kingdom are traditional participants of the Moscow annual tourist exhibitions "Intourmarket" and "Leisure".
As part of the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with the Russian Federation on March 25 2019, a press conference was held at the Russian Embassy Hall in Phnom Penh, during which the official position of the country on the Crimean issue was presented and the main directions of the development of Crimea as a part of Russia were discussed. In order to familiarize the Cambodian partners with the unique recreational resources of the peninsula, the participants of the conference enjoyed a thematic photo exhibition prepared by the students of the Russian school. In addition, the screening of the English-language film “The Bridge”, created by the international TV channel Russia Today, was organized.
Interfaith interaction is actively developing too. On February 13–14, 2015, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church led by Archbishop Pyatigorsk and Circassian Theophylact visited Phnom Penh. A conversation was held with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Royal Court Kong Samol, during which Bishop Theophylact conveyed a personal message from His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Cyril to King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni. Meetings were also held with the Great Supreme Patriarch of Buddhist Cambodia Tep Wong and the Minister of Cults and Religions Min Khin.
On October 24–26, 2015, a visit of the Chairman of the Financial and Economic Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop of Ryazan and Mikhailovsky Mark (Golovkov) to Cambodia took place. During the visit a stone laying ceremony at the future site of the St. Nicholas Church in the territory of the former Russian Trade Centre was made. In February 2014, the aforementioned bishop was commissioned to lay the foundation for an Orthodox church in Siem Reap.
On February 13–16, 2017, Archbishop Sergiy Solnechnogorsk visited the Kingdom, during which a prayer service took place in the church of Great Martyr George in the capital and the Divine Liturgy in the Church of Great Martyr Panteleimon in Sihanoukville. On February 15, the archpastor examined the place where the future St. Nicholas Church was laid in Phnom Penh and met believers from among the employees of the Russian Embassy and compatriots living in this country.
In 1984, the Russian Center for Science and Culture (RCSC) was opened in Phnom Penh, where organized events dedicated to historical events, anniversaries of famous figures, literature and musical evenings, book and photo exhibitions, etc. Work is underway to agree on a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on the status and conditions of the activities of the RCSC.
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Cambodian diplomatic relations in 2016 (May 13, 1956), the following events were held:
On May 11, 2016, the Embassy organized a reception at which Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia Prak Sokhonn was present as the main guest.
On May 12, 2016, at the initiative of the Russian diplomatic mission in front of the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, where the Prime Minister's office is located, a tree-planting ceremony was held with the participation of the head of the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom Prak Sokhonn.
On October 28–30, 2016, the Days of Russian Culture in Phnom Penh were organized in the framework of the celebration of the “cross-border” Russia – ASEAN Year of Culture. The program envisaged the opening ceremony including a number of concerts, master classes of ballet dances, vocals and playing musical instruments, as well as the photo exhibition “The Nature of Russian North". The Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia Phoeurng Sackona attended the occasion.
On December 2-5, 2016, the Days of Russian cinema took place in Phnom Penh. Ambassador Dmitry Tsvetkov and Deputy Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Som Sokun made welcoming speeches at the opening ceremony. The guests were also welcomed by members of the creative team of the film “Battalion”, including scriptwriter and producer Yevgeny Ayzikovich, art director of the Film Production Center Yulia Braginu , actress Valery Shkirendo and composer Yuria Poteenko.
In honor of the celebration of the 74th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Embassy of Russia organized a number of events:
On May 8, 2019, the 5th annual action “Plant a tree for that guy” took place. Employees of the diplomatic mission, compatriots, and representatives of the Ministries of Culture, Education and Foreign Affairs, the Union of Youth Federations of the Kingdom, as well as students and teachers of the Embassy school planted seedlings in memory of soldiers who did not return from the battlefields.
Earlier there was a competition for the best name of the alley. According to its results, it was named “Victory Alley”.
On 9 May 2019, a thematic rally was held on the territory of the Embassy, a monument for the dead soldiers was erected and a “Memory Capsule” was laid with an appeal to the descendants of 2045 for the 100th anniversary of the Great Victory.
On the same day, in the Cambodian capital, the Council of Russian Compatriots organized the annual public action "Immortal Regiment". The procession was attended by employees of the Russian Embassy, representatives of the Ministries of Culture, Education, Foreign Affairs, the People’s Party of Cambodia, the Union of Youth Federations of the Kingdom, former graduates of Soviet / Russian universities, students and teachers of the diplomatic mission school.
At the end of the action, a solemn concert “Roads of War - Roads of Victory” prepared by the school took place. During the performances songs and dances of the war years were performed. In addition, as part of the celebration, exhibitions of archival photographs, handicrafts and drawings of children were held. The guests also enjoyed a field kitchen.
On June 3, 2019, the Maly Theater of Russia (Scene on Bolshaya Ordynka) hosted the official opening of the Days of Cambodian Culture in Russia. The representatives of the Ministries of Culture of the two countries made a welcoming speech at it. The ceremony continued with a gala concert with the participation of artists from leading performing groups in Cambodia, who acquainted the Russian audience with the wealth of choreographic and musical traditions of the Kingdom.
The concert program included the real pearl of Cambodian culture - the modern dance “Apsara” - a form of royal ballet recognized as the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The dance is based on the plots of folk myths and legends. At the same time, the audience was presented with folk dances “Phloy Suoi”, “Cardamom Gathering” and “Coconut hells”, classic numbers “Princess of mermaids Sovanmachkha” and “Manimekhala”, and “Garuda Dance”, which belongs to modern choreography. In addition, the artists demonstrated the game on Khmer wind instruments: bamboo flutes "Khla", "Pei-Pok", "Pei-o", which are used in Cambodia for the performance of wedding music.
As part of the ceremony, a large-scale photo exhibition was launched at the Maly Theater, presenting the country's main natural sights.