Myanmar: Junta Chief Meets Putin In Russia

Photo: Kremlin [via The Moscow Times]

The Facts

  • On Wed., Myanmar's junta chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, met with Russia's Vladimir Putin for the first time since the military took over the country in Feb. 2021.

  • Following the meeting, Min Aung Hlaing announced that Myanmar has begun importing petroleum products from Russia and that a shipment of diesel is expected in the coming days. Myanmar will pay for the products in Russian rubles.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Although Myanmar and Russia have deepened their relations over the past several years, this trend has accelerated rapidly since the 2021 military coup in Myanmar and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. This convergence was inevitable as they've both become pariah states, facing international sanctions and diplomatic isolation. Nevertheless, while their solidarity might bring short-term benefits, it will only damage further them in the long run.

Establishment-critical narrative

Myanmar and Russia are traditional partners that have historically cooperated on a solid foundation that isn't affected by political circumstances of any sort. Despite the pandemic, they have expanded their trade and their military and technical cooperation for the mutual benefit of both countries. In addition, Moscow has politically supported Myanmar's efforts to stabilize the country and its plans to organize parliamentary elections next year.

Nerd narrative

There's a 95% chance that Russia will be the world's most sanctioned country by February, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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