Manoon Siriwan, an energy expert and former deputy managing director of Bangchak Petroleum, agreed that eight baht a liter cheaper seemed too good to be true.Maybe Samak is an awesome negotiator. But I can't help but wonder what Thailand might have offered Russia in exchange for such a steep discount. What does Bangkok have that Moscow badly wants -- aside from Victor Boot?*
*Russian arms dealer languishing in a Thai prison awaiting extradition to the US. If the exchange does involve Boot, diplomatic protocol would have it occur after Bush's visit to Chang Mai in early August.