Myanmar Junta’s Vice Chairman Heads to Russia
By The Irrawaddy 1 September 2021
Vice Senior General Soe Win, deputy military chief and vice chairman of the military regime’s governing body, the State Administration Council (SAC), left Myanmar for Russia on Wednesday morning to attend the closing ceremony of the International Army Games-2021 at the invitation of Russian Defense Minister General Kuzhugetovich Shoigu.
The deputy military chief was accompanied by Lieutenant General Aung Soe of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services (Army) and senior military officials. The delegation was seen off at Naypyitaw Airport by SAC chairman and military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
The Myanmar military delegation will attend the closing ceremony of the International Army Games-2021, meet Russian military and civilian officials, and visit landmarks.
The chief of the Myanmar military’s general staff, General Maung Maung Aye, also recently visited Moscow to attend the International Military Technical Forum “Army 2021” and the opening of the International Army Games, in which Myanmar military personnel participated.
The general held talks with Russian military officials to procure an air defense system and Moscow sold US$2.3 billion worth of weapons to Myanmar during the trip, Russian media reported.
Defense ties between the two countries have grown since 2010, with Moscow providing army training and scholarships to thousands of Myanmar soldiers and selling weapons to the Myanmar military.
Bilateral relations between the two countries have reached a new level since the February coup, regime spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said following Gen. Maung Maung Aye’s visit. Russia sees Myanmar as a strategic partner in Southeast Asia.
In June, coup leader Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia to attend an international security conference. It was his second foreign visit since the coup and followed a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a halt in arms sales to Myanmar. The coup leader visited arms factories during his visit.
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