Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Visits Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy & AFP 3 August 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday morning for meetings with the conflict-wracked country’s junta leaders.

As Moscow’s ties with the West unravel over the intervention in Ukraine, the Kremlin is seeking to pivot the country towards the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

“Talks are planned with the [junta’s] foreign minister and … leadership,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Tuesday.

She added that defense and security cooperation would be on the agenda among other topics.

Russia and its ally China have been accused of arming Myanmar’s junta with weapons used to attack civilians since last year’s coup.

More than 2,000 civilians have been killed in a military crackdown since the coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

Last week, the announcement of the junta’s execution of four democracy activists was condemned by the UN Security Council in a rare consensus on the post-coup crisis.

The statement was endorsed by Russia and China, junta allies who have previously shielded it at the UN.

Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was in Moscow on a “private” visit in July and reportedly met officials from Moscow’s space and nuclear agencies.

In July, Lavrov visited Egypt, Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia.