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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Thailand Wants to Swap Rice for Guns

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Friday he will discuss bartering rice worth $40 million for weapons and ammunition during an official visit to Russia this week.

Thaksin is due to meet President Vladimir Putin during the Wednesday to Friday visit to negotiate the deal, which would replenish Thai weapon stocks that have dwindled during the country's recent economic slump.

Thailand is the world's top rice exporter, shipping more than 7 million tons of rice overseas last year.

Thaksin and Putin are also expected to discuss security issues, nuclear disarmament, the U.S.-led war against terrorism, regional conflicts and globalization.

Thaksin said military officials will accompany him to advise on which weapons would be most useful.

The prime minister said he will also ask about trading rice for a Russian navigational satellite. Thailand currently relies on expensive services provided by foreign-owned satellites, he said.