Conflicts & War

Myanmar military delegation heads to Moscow talks: reports

Bangkok, May 20 (EFE).- A Myanmar delegation led by its Air Force chief will on Thursday visit Moscow, one of the few allies of the military junta, to close projects, including weapons purchases, according to various sources.

The envoys, who also include tycoon Tay Za, will talk with their Russian counterparts about 20 megaprojects, including the acquisition of weapons and military equipment, The Irrawaddy reported, citing in-country business sources.

The Myanmar embassy in Moscow confirmed to the Moscow Times that the delegation, led by Air Force chief General Maung Maung Kyaw, will attend the HeliRussia fair, the country’s largest helicopter exhibition.

Russia is the second largest supplier of weapons to Myanmar, with sales of $807 million in the last decade up to 2019, only surpassed by China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The Myanmar military regime imported $14.7 million in radar equipment in February, the Moscow Times reported citing Russian customs data.

Among Myanmar’s arsenal from Russia are tanks, missile launchers, radars, helicopters and combat aircraft, among other military equipment.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet publicly announced any meeting with its Myanmar counterparts, according to the Moscow Times.

Russia is one of the few powers that has not condemned the Feb. 1 coup that ended the democratic government of Aung San Suu Kyi, nor the violence exercised by the military junta and security forces against the population, which has caused more than 800 deaths.

Reflecting Moscow’s support, on Mar. 27, almost two months after the coup, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Vasilyevich was the highest-ranking foreign dignitary to attend the Armed Forces Day military parade in Naypyidaw.

On Tuesday the UN General Assembly postponed a vote on a draft resolution calling for an arms embargo on Myanmar, thought to be due to a failure to achieve a consensus among the participating countries, including Russia and China.

The military junta justifies its coup alleging fraud in the November election, in which the democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won by a landslide, and which has the support of international observers. EFE


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