Russia becomes mainstay of Myanmar’s post-military coup

Russia is emerging as a key supporter of Myanmar’s military regime, providing diplomatic support and discussing arms deals since the February coup that overthrew the country’s democratically elected government.

Last month, Moscow hosted Myanmar’s coup leader for talks on defense relations and sent a senior defense official to the Southeast Asian country, one of the most foreigners. more senior officers to visit since the coup.

Russia’s position contrasts with that of Myanmar’s neighbor China, a major investor and long-term funder, which has kept its distance and expressed concern about stability since the February coup.

The connection with Russia gives options to Myanmar generals, granting recognition to the junta and balancing its dependence on Beijing for arms and other support as the United States and other Western countries attempt to isolate the military-led government, foreign policy scholars say. Meanwhile, they said, Russia is seizing an opportunity to expand its influence and support a friendly regime, while thwarting Western democratic designs.

The Russian government and the Burmese Army Information Office did not respond to requests for comment.

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