Myanmar’s Crisis & the World

Russian Trade Delegation Signs Seven Agreements With Myanmar Junta

By The Irrawaddy 6 December 2022

A second Russian trade delegation in a month is visiting Naypyitaw to boost bilateral economic ties.

After talks with Myanmar junta boss Min Aung Hlaing and his ministers, Russian economic development minister Maxim Reshetnikov met business owners and signed seven agreements. No details were provided by the junta but Russian state news agency Tass reported that a joint protocol on trade, disease control, education and science was signed.

Min Aung Hlaing and Reshetnikov discussed technical cooperation in arable and livestock farming and iron and steel, pharmaceuticals, mining and energy production, according to the junta’s media.

The two also discussed direct flights to develop tourism.

In November it was agreed that Yangon flights to Vladivostok, Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk with Myanmar Airways International would begin next year. The junta’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has been providing Russian lessons to staff to cater for Russian visitors.

A signing ceremony between Russia and Myanmar.

They also discussed the formation of Myanmar-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Associations in Myanmar and plans to boost bilateral cultural cooperation.

In November a Roscongress Foundation delegation was sent by Vladimir Putin to Myanmar.

A third Intergovernmental Russian-Myanmar Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was held in Naypyitaw this week, following on from the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok in September.

The Russian authorities reported that agreements were signed on the trade of Russian oil, fertilizers, seeds and sunflower oil and Myanmar’s rice, seafood, fruit, vegetables and other goods.

The junta media reported that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Bank of Russia and Central Bank of Myanmar.

The EU-sanctioned trade minister Dr Kan Zaw, who also signed deals with the Russian delegation in November, said the agreements would boost opportunities for cooperation.

The Russian-Myanmar Economic Forum was attended by representatives from over 100 Russian companies and some 200 business owners from Myanmar. The junta’s commerce minister Aung Naing Oo attended the forum.

At the forum cooperation in energy, mining, agriculture, finance, banking, information technology, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, hotels and tourism were reportedly discussed.

Relations between the two regimes are strengthening amid increasing international isolation, especially since the meeting between Putin and Min Aung Hlaing in September.

Faced with a budget deficit amid civil war, economic decline and the withdrawal of foreign investment, Myanmar’s junta is increasingly reliant on Moscow for weapons, diplomatic support, trade and investment.

Russian trade, investment, education, defense, hotels and tourism delegations have visited Naypyitaw in the past month.