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Russia to build a military airport in Laos in a sign of strengthening military cooperation.

Image Credit: RFA/Planet Labs

Russia and Laos agreed on upgrading the current airport and train Laos armed forces. The airport which is believed to be larger, will be divided into two, one if for civilian use and the other for Russian and Laos military use.

Russian troops started clearing around 500 hectares of unexploded ordinance (UXO) before the building could start. According to Lao officials this will help to strengthen the military ties between the two countries and help in delivering military supplies to the Southeastern Asian country.

The Russians came here to build a military airport on the other side of the Plain of Jars.They’re currently clearing the UXO and then they’re going to upgrade the existing airport, making it larger and more beautiful.

Xieng Khouang official.

Another Lao official explained how the airport will be divided and the works being done.

The Russian and Lao armed forces together are building this new airport that will be larger than the existing one and will be divided in two different zones. One zone is for Lao and Russian military use and the other is for civilian use. Some work on the new airport has already begun, but the actual construction will not start anytime soon because the UXO clearance will take some time,”

Xieng Khouang official

A former senior government official said that the current military expansion cooperation is in line with an agreement they have in place regarding defense and security. Back when Russia was Soviet Union, there was more presence of their troops in Laos. Soviet Union was a major arms supplier to Laos.

We had more cooperation and more Russian military presence in Laos during the Soviet era.

Former senior government official

Back in 2018, Laos ordered four jet fighters and 10 Yak-130 tanks after Laos government officials did a state visit in Moscow. A military cooperation agreement was than signed. Russia military cooperation with Laos highlights its desire for a broader defense cooperation in Southeast Asia.

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