Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 13 Scenes

MoeMaKa   July 14 2022

The strategy of the military council approaching Russia

The news stated that the leader of the military council had met with Russia’s nuclear and space agencies privately during the ceremony of pagoda consecration on the full moon day of Waso. The junta news media reported that yesterday Myanmar general also went to the Tatarstan country of Russian Federation, met with leaders, and visited the IT University.

The news also stated that he met with the deputy defense minister as the highest rank in Russia during his visit and the minister attended the ceremony of pagoda consecration.

If you look at the purpose of this trip, it is obvious that there is an intention to buy weapons from Russia and to show close relations with Russia in diplomatic affairs on the pretext of attending the ceremony. The leader of the military council has been on a personal visit to Russia since July 10, and on the trip of attending a consecration of the replica of Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Russia on the full moon day of Waso. It is understood that Myanmar Military is trying to forge closer ties with Russia.

Before the Ukraine-Russia war and the imposition of sanctions on Russia, in an interview with Russian media last year, the junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing, referred Russia as a country of close ally strategically although the two countries are quite far apart. Although Russia considers Myanmar as a neighboring country to China, it seems that it does not assume Myanmar as a strategic ally. So there was no meeting with top ranking Russian  leaders at the same level and not reported in the news particularly.  It seems that Russia only thinks of Myanmar as a country to sell weapons and since Myanmar can’t afford to buy a significant amount, it can be concluded that it has not reached the status of a country to be dealt with special attention. 

Before the Ukraine-Russia war, showing close relations with Russia was not very unusual in view of the world, but in the period after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the military council’s international diplomatic strategy to show close relations with Russia is more negative than positive.

When Russia is a bad actor in the international arena, giving attention to Russia, attempts to buy technology, weapons and fuel from Russia will only bring disgrace to a country like Myanmar, which is not a powerful country.

Dissatisfied with the US diplomatic relationship with the opposition NUG government, it is shown that the military council wants to rely on Russia this time just like it relied on China similarly for diplomacy and weapons during the previous military regime.

In the geopolitical situation bordering India and China which are the powerful countries in both Asia and the world, Myanmar should not become an intermediary country for those and not  become a country of proxy war by them.  It should not play a dangerous international strategy game just only because of domestic political competition and a desire to keep hold of power.