FACTBOX - Russia-Malaysia Relations

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 05th September, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad will hold a meeting on Thursday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Malaysia were established on April 3, 1967. On December 31, 1991, Malaysia officially recognized Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union.

Russia and Malaysia maintain an active political dialogue, developing contacts at the senior and high levels. In 2003, Putin visited Malaysia twice: once on an official visit in August, and the second time during the 10th Organisation of the Islamic Conference Summit in October.

In December 2005, Putin met with then-Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during the first Russia-ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2005, the ruling king of Malaysia at the time, Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, paid a private visit to Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg.

In June 2007, Badawi traveled to Russia for an official visit.

National leaders also meet regularly on the sidelines of international forums.

In November 2011, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with the Malaysian prime minister at the time, Najib Razak, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu, Hawaii. Putin, as president, met with Razak during the APEC summits in Vladivostok in 2012, on Bali Island in 2013 and in Beijing in 2014. The Russian president and Razak also held talks on the margins of the Russia-ASEAN anniversary summit in the Russian city of Sochi on May 19, 2016.

On November 13, 2018, Putin and Bin Mohamad held a meeting on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

The foreign ministers of both countries maintain regular contact as well. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with the head of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry in 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2015. Anifah Aman, who was a Malaysian foreign minister at the time, paid working visits to Russia in 2013 and 2017.

On July 31, 2019, Lavrov met with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on the margins of the Russia-ASEAN meeting in Bangkok.

Inter-parliamentary contacts are also frequent. Ministries and agencies of the two countries interact on a regular basis. The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, paid an official visit to Malaysia in March 2016.

Vigneswaran Sanasee, president of the Dewan Negara (Senate) of Malaysia, paid an official visit to Russia from September 21-24, 2016.

A delegation of the Committee on Defense and Security of the Russian parliament's upper chamber, headed by the committee's chairman, Viktor Bondarev, paid a working visit to Malaysia in March 2019. During the visit, Russian lawmakers met with Vigneswaran, Deputy Defense Minister Liew Chin Tong, Air Force chief Gen. Affendi bin Buang, as well as with personnel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force stationed at the Subang military airfield.

On August 27, 2019, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev paid a working visit to Malaysia, during which he met with Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu, National Security Council Director-General Engku Hamzah Tuan Mat and also held a number of inter-ministerial consultations.

The bilateral relations between Russia and Malaysia are also characterized by interregional contacts and mutual contacts between ministries and departments.

Malaysia is one of Russia's main and most promising trading partners in the region of Southeast Asia. The aviation, shipping, chemical and agricultural industries, as well as IT, are among the priority sectors of cooperation.

According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, Russia's trade with Malaysia in 2018 amounted to $2.7 billion, showing an increase of 26.4 percent compared with the previous year. Russian exports to Malaysia amounted to $1 billion, while imports totaled $1.6 billion.

In the first six months of 2019, trade between the two countries amounted to $1.4 billion. Russia exported $620 million worth of goods, while imports from Malaysia reached a value of $800 million.

Russian exports to Malaysia mainly consist of mineral products and chemicals. Imports include mostly machinery, equipment and transport vehicles, chemicals, food and agricultural commodities.

Russia's business Council for Cooperation with Malaysia (BCCM) has been in operation since July 2013. In March 2016, the BCCM and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute signed an agreement in Kuala Lumpur to establish the Russia-Malaysia Business Council.

A Joint Russia-Malaysia Commission for Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation was established in November 2015. Its first meeting will be held in the fall of 2019 in Moscow.


As part of the cooperation in the oil and gas sector, Petronas, Malaysia's state-run oil and gas company, bought $1.1 billion of the acquired Rosneft (the Russian oil and gas company) shares. In 2006-2007, Petronas signed memoranda of cooperation with Rosneft and Russia's gas giant, Gazprom.

An enterprise for potash deliveries started operations in January 2014 as a joint venture between Russia's potash producer, Uralkali, and Malaysia's Federal Land Development Agency.

In February 2018, Orgkhim Biochemical Holding from Russia's Nizhny Novgorod announced that it began the construction of a plant for producing non-carcinogenic ("green") extender oil for tires, synthetic rubbers and rubber compounds in the port of Tanjung Langsat in the Malaysian state of Johor.

Russia's Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity giant works productively in the Malaysian market, providing up to 40 percent of all antivirus software for the country.

In June 2018, Malaysia purchased neonatal equipment from the Shvabe holding company of Russia's Rostec State Corporation that included intensive care incubators, neonatal tables, phototherapeutic irradiators, and heaters. The equipment for private clinics in Kuala Lumpur provides the whole range of procedures for nursing newborns, including infants with extremely low body weight.

In November 2018, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Singapore-based Asian American Medical Group and Rusatom Healthcare, a subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, agreed to jointly build a nuclear medicine center in the city of Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia.

The two countries are developing scientific and technical ties and maintain stable communications in the military and military technology fields, as well as in the aerospace field.

From 1994-1995, Russia delivered 18 MiG-29 fighters to Malaysia. The next major contract for the supply of 18 Su-30MKM fighters, a Malaysian modification of the Su-30 aircraft, was completed in 2009. In July 2017, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and a joint venture company, Advanced Television Systems Committee, signed a memorandum of cooperation providing for the supply of spare parts for Russian aircraft, which were previously delivered to Malaysia.

Also, the two countries signed an agreement on the repairs and maintenance of MiG-29 fighters that are used in Malaysia.

In March 2019, Russian companies took part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.

In October 2007, Malaysia's first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, flew to the International Space Station on a Russian spacecraft.

In 2000, 2006 and 2009, three Malaysian telecommunications satellites were launched into orbit by Russian satellite launch vehicles.


In 2017, Sputnik News Agency and Radio concluded a cooperation agreement with Bernama, the leading news agency in Malaysia, which marked Sputnik's return to the country's media market.

Cooperation in the field of culture, education, and science is developing. The Russian Centre of Science and Culture has been operating in Kuala Lumpur since 1981.

Russian music and art groups regularly perform in Malaysia.

Malaysian students study on a contractual basis at Russian universities, mainly in the medical and engineering fields.