UK Imposes More Sanctions on Myanmar and Russia

By Nora Aung 20 June 2022

The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on three Myanmar and three Russian companies that have supplied aircraft parts to junta forces.

The sanctions came after Amnesty International’s report “Bullets Rained from the Sky” and other reports of indiscriminate airstrikes against civilians. A first set of sanctions were imposed on March 25.

“New sanctions will limit Myanmar’s military junta – who are heavily reliant on Russian air assets – and cut Putin off from profiting from sales that fund his war machine,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said when the sanctions were announced.

The UK also imposed sanctions on Thursday on Russia’s children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, for supporting Russia’s military and other allies of Vladimir Putin, military commanders and arms dealers in Russia and Myanmar.

Myanmar New Era Trading Co Ltd, Synpex Shwe Co Ltd and Sky Aviator Co Ltd and JSC Gorizont, Sins Avia Trading House LLC (CNS Aviation) and Ural Avia LLC in Russia face sanctions for supplying aircraft and parts to the junta’s airforce.

New Era procured Mi-17 parts from Russia through the US-sanctioned International Gateways Group, led by Dr. Naing Htut Aung who has close ties to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.

Sky Aviator is a junta arms broker which procured YAK-30 equipment, engines and engine parts from Russia and Ukraine, according to Justice for Myanmar (JFM), a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability.

JFM reported that Sky Aviator had procured military helicopters for Myanmar since 2019 from Russia and Min Aung Hlaing visited Kazan Helicopters in Russia after the 2021 coup.

Synpex Shwe procured helicopter parts from Sins Avia and supplied the Directorate of Defense Industries.

JSC Gorizont shipped drone parts to UK-sanctioned Miya Win, an arms broker in Myanmar.

Ural Avia supplied aviation parts and made repairs and Mi-17 parts. The company and its director, Dr. Aung Moe Myint, were sanctioned by the UK on March 25.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted: “I applaud the United Kingdom’s announcement to impose sanctions on entities supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as well as on companies perpetuating the Burmese military regime’s brutal violence against the people of Burma.”

The regime has used helicopters, jet fighters and surveillance drones to indiscriminately attack civilians and nearly 200,000 civilians have experienced airstrikes.

The number of people forced to flee their homes since the coup is almost 700,000 and the total number of displaced people is more than 1 million, the highest recorded figure in Myanmar, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on May 31.