Conflicts & War

Myanmar signs nuclear ‘roadmap’ with Russia as junta leader meets Putin

(Correction: Changes slug)

Moscow/Bangkok, Sep 7 (EFE).- Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom said it had signed with Myanmar a roadmap for “peaceful use of atomic energy for 2022-2023,” including a possible modular reactor project.

The agreement was sealed on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, where Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing also met President Vladimir Putin.

“The Roadmap fixes the defined steps for further Russian-Myanmar cooperation in nuclear sphere,” it said.

“In particular the document provides for the expanding of bilateral legal framework, possibility of implementing a small modular reactors project in Myanmar, as well as personnel training and work related to the improvement of public acceptance of nuclear energy in Myanmar.”

Rosatom said the document was signed by its Director General Alexey Likhachev, Myanmar’s Science and Technology Minister Myo Thein Kyaw and Electric Power Minister Thaung Han in the presence Min Aung Hlaing.

Myanmar’s junta-controlled Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Wednesday said the countries would cooperate on the “peaceful use of nuclear energy for socioeconomic development of citizens, and utilization of nuclear energy in conducting tests of science and research, manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, industrial and all sectors including generating electricity.”

Russian media also reported that Myanmar has started buying petroleum products from Russia and Min Aung Hlaing expects a diesel delivery “in a few days,” adding that Myanmar is willing to pay in rubles, as Moscow demands.

Meanwhile, Putin on Wednesday highlighted an increase in trade with Myanmar in the first half of the year at a time Moscow when seeks new economic allies in the Asia-Pacific region amid its war in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions.

In a meeting with Min Aung Hlaing, Putin said that “(bilateral) relations are developing positively,” state news agency Tass reported.

The Russian leader said that the volume of trade and economic ties between both countries was still modest in absolute terms, “but the trend is very good, a 2.4-fold increase in the first half of this year.”

Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a military coup on Feb. 1 last year, praised Putin’s leadership on the global stage.

“With your help, the country is developing intensively (…) One can say that when you started to rule the country, Russia moved to a leadership position globally,” he said, according to state news agency Tass.

“And we would describe you not just as the leader of Russia, but also as a leader of the world, because you are controlling and organizing stability all over the world,” Tass said he added.

Min Aung Hlaing is one of the three leaders who will accompany Putin on stage at the Eastern Economic Forum, along with the prime ministers of Armenia and Mongolia, as well as Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress or legislature. EFE


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