Russian arms trader working closely supplying Burmese military
The head of a Russian state arms trader was attributed as saying that Russia is working closely with the Burmese military junta to supply military equipment. According to the Interfax news agency, the head of Rosoboronexport, the arms trader in question, spoke of the partnership between the military coup that overthrew the government in Myanmar on February 1 and the Russian military supplier.
Myanmar has had a long and growing relationship with Russia, with collaborations for years that includes selling arms to the Burmese army, despite the army being blacklisted by numerous Western countries. Russia has also provided training for Burmese armed forces and even has a university scholarship program that awarded educational funding to thousands of Burmese soldiers.
Activists in Myanmar have been criticising Russia since the beginning of the coup, arguing that holding bilateral visits and continuing to engage in the sales of arms and supplies to the military junta after the coup only serves to lend an air of legitimacy to the Burmese military attempting to control the embattled nation. A similar argument was made in April when the junta’s leader was invited to the ASEAN summit addressing the crisis in Myanmar, but no representative of the overthrown government was allowed to join, again giving legitimacy to the junta by treating it as a rightful government of the country.
Burmese junta leader Min Aung Hlaing visited Moscow just last month and had a meeting with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. During that meeting, Russia reaffirmed their commitment to backing the military junta and continuing to increase ties between the militaries of the 2 countries.
The Rosoboronexport head said that in Southeast Asia Myanmar is an essential customer for them and that the Burmese junta is also an important partner with the Russian aerospace and defence group Rostec. He made the comments today at MAKS, a multi-day Russian airshow held each year and attended yesterday by Russian President Vladamir Putin yesterday.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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