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Myanmar - Russia Relations

After the 01 March 2021 military coup, Russia increased arms sales to Myanmars military, and steadfastly stood by Myanmars coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, an alliance that would further Moscows foreign policy ambitions across Southeast Asia through future weapons sales. When an authoritarian regime pops up Russias there to support it. Russian media had trumpeted Moscows support for the coup as a defense of Myanmar democracy. Russians support was highlighted by the presence of deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin at the annual Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyidaw 27 March 2021, following a visit by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu a week before the coup.

Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Myanmar (Burma) were established on February 18, 1948. The Soviet Union provided this country with substantial technical and material assistance. Soviet specialists built a technological institute and a hotel in Yangon, as well as a hospital in Taungji. In December 1991, Myanmar recognized Russia as the successor state of the USSR.

Russia and Myanmar adhere to similar positions on pressing world problems, traditionally provide each other with political support at various international platforms. Consultations are carried out on a regular basis through the foreign ministries. In 2009-2012. Myanmar served as the coordinator of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership.

The development of Russian-Myanmar relations is facilitated by the improvement of the legal framework. In recent years, an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation, a Declaration on the Foundations of Friendly Relations, an Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports, an Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation and a number of interdepartmental agreements on cooperation (between the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Natural Resources, Culture and others). Ties in the field of education are expanding. Since 2001, about 4,000 Myanmar students and postgraduates have received education in Russian universities. The Rossotrudnichestvo scholarship program has started - starting in 2014, government scholarships have been provided for young citizens of Myanmar.

Political dialogue is developing, including at the highest level. In 1955 and 1960, N.S. Khrushchev visited Myanmar. A notable event in Russian-Myanmar relations was the official visit to Russia of the Deputy Chairman of the State Council for Peace and Development of Myanmar in 2006. On May 19, 2016, on the sidelines of the anniversary Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the President Republic of the Union of Myanmar (RSM) Thin Zhuo. The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev met with the President of Myanmar, Thein Sein, on the sidelines of the East Asian summits in November 2014 (Naypyidaw) and in November 2015 (Kuala Lumpur).

In 2016, the trade turnover amounted to USD 258.3 million, Russian exports - USD 239 million, imports - USD 19.2 million. The main articles of Russian export are machinery, equipment and vehicles (78.6%), chemical products (3.6%), timber and pulp and paper products (2.3%), metals and metal products (2%) , food products and agricultural raw materials (1.1%). The main imports from Myanmar are textiles and products from it (84.9%), leather raw materials, furs and products from them (9.2%), food products and agricultural products (4.8%).

Collaboration is maintained in the field of security and defense . The visit to Myanmar in November 2014 of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation N.P. Patrushev, his talks with the Vice President of Myanmar Nyan Tong in Moscow in June 2015 and a meeting with the National Security Adviser Town Tong in Moscow in March 2017 In March 2013, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation S.K.Shoigu paid a visit to Myanmar. In June 2017, separate meetings of S.K.Shoigu and N.P. Patrushev with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, Senior General Min Aung Hline took place in Moscow. In June 2016, Sochi hosted the 15th meeting of the Russian-Myanmar Mixed Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.

The greatest progress in building up bilateral contacts between the Russian Federation and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has been achieved in the field of military-technical cooperation. In early June 2016, the defense ministries of the Russian Federation and Myanmar signed an agreement in Moscow. According to the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Anatoly Antonov, the agreements relate to the naval area, hydrography, topography, military medicine and education, and other promising areas of maintaining military contacts. It provides, in particular, the exchange of information on international security issues, including in the framework of the fight against terrorism, the exchange of experience in peacekeeping activities.

In turn, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Myanmar Myint Nwe, who signed the document, noted that the agreement was coordinated in the republic at all levels. In particular, the approval of the parliament was obtained. He stressed that Myanmar sees great prospects in the field of naval cooperation with Russia.

According to international observers, contacts between Russia and Myanmar through the military departments have noticeably intensified. Friendly calls by Russian Navy ships to the ports of this country were carried out, and cooperation was consistently increased in the field of training Myanmar servicemen at Russian military universities. Russia sent coaches to Myanmar to train military athletes, as well as teachers to train soldiers and officers in the Russian language.

"We are interested in establishing contacts with the Republic of Myanmar in the supply of high-tech industrial products, we are ready to offer helicopters, trucks, energy and gas pumping, medical equipment, modern lighting systems, air traffic control systems," the deputy general director told reporters at the Russia-ASEAN summit. Nikolay Volobuev, director of Rostec State Corporation.

Earlier, the Russian Helicopters holding, which is part of Rostec, reported that they plan to sign contracts for the repair of four Mi-24P helicopters of the Myanmar Air Force. The company also noted that the parties can enter into an additional agreement if current obligations are successfully fulfilled.

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Page last modified: 06-05-2021 17:12:20 ZULU