Thai Gripen chickens go to Russia?

Sweden’s offset trade negotiations with Thailand regarding a sale of JAS Gripen jet fighters hit turbulence today as a Russian aircraft deal may be in the making.
     The Thai government expects to finalise a chicken-for-jet fighter planes plan with Russia in the next few weeks, the Commerce Minister, Watana Muangsook, told the state owned Thai news agency TNA on Thursday 14 October.
     Thailand is waiting for Moscow’s agreement to the barter trade scheme, swapping Thai chickens for Russian planes, which was discussed by the Russian and Thai leaders, during Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s recent visit to Russia, writes TNA.
     Mr Thaksin proposed a G-to-G trade with Russia – selling 250,000 tonnes of Thai chicken for 22 Russian jet fighters, continues TNA, and the value of the jets exceeds that of the chickens. Therefore Thailand has to make up the difference in cash.
     “We will export 50,000 tonnes of chicken to Russia every year. So it will take five years to complete the quota in the deal before Russia officially becomes a member of the World Trade Organisation,” said Mr. Watana to TNA.
     Just two weeks ago, Watana was assigned to lead the Thai negotiation team about JAS Gripen with State Secretary Lars Danielsson on the Swedish side.
     What is happening?
     “This September did Watana make a proposal to trade chickens with Russia but we have not specified for what,” says a spokeswoman at the PM Office in Bangkok to Scandasia. “Our talks with Sweden are therefore not affected by this.”
     But the commerce minister’s statement to TNA, can you comment that?
     “No, I have not seen it.”

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