Coup leader’s visit to Russia, Statement by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – September 05 Scenes
MoeMaKa, September 06 2022

 The news reported that the leader of the military council, Min Aung Hlaing, arrived in Vladivostok city yesterday to attend the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) to be held in Russia recently. As the chairman of the military council, it was the third time he visited Russia after the military coup. After the coup, most of the countries have distanced diplomatically from the military coup council and this trip is seen as an attempt to demonstrate diplomatic recognition. To be analyzed further, it can be understood that the military council approached Russia because they wanted to show Russia as a country with strategic relations, and on the other hand, they wanted to purchase weapons and the support of Russia, which is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to respond to pressure from the western countries.

They approached Russia after distancing a little from China, depending on the fact that Russia is not a neighboring country and has no other major military aims in Southeast Asia. During the military regime under General Than Shwe, China was relied on for UN matters and as a source of weapons purchases. After 2010, the military defined China as country that essential backer, but they have been careful not to have too close with China on the surface.

Particularly, it is assumed that the military is dissatisfied with China for having influence over some ethnic armed groups, selling weapons or supporting weapons. Between 2010 and 2020, the military increased its military-to-military relations with Russia in contrast to the government’s diplomatic policies, and after the military coup, it is seen all along that they have been trying to forge closer ties.

After the Ukraine-Russia war, even though Russia’s reputation in the international community has declined even more, the Myanmar military council publicly supported Russia in the Ukraine-Russia war. In addition, they are planning it as a way to lower prices by purchasing petroleum from Russia in the case of high fuel prices that Myanmar is currently facing. 

On the other hand, it is seen that Russia does not give favor to the Myanmar military council and sees it as a puppet country with a different level of importance and, except for the visit of the Russian Foreign Minister last month, it has only shown military-to-military relations. The military council attempts to approach Russia when the political and economic relations between Russia and Western countries are getting worse. It seems that the military council abandoned the neutral foreign policy maintained by the previous military regimes and is approaching Russia as a dictatorial country with expectation like North Korea, Syria and Belarus which fully supports Russia in the re-emerging Cold War between West and East.

Another piece of news for today is that the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Myanmar, Dr. Noolen Heyzar, said in a discussion that she would not visit Myanmar again if she was not allowed to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

After the military coup, when she visited for the first time as a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General last month, it was seen that the military council and the UN were not in good terms regarding the discussions. Due to the dissatisfaction with the UN statement after the trip, the military council made public the details of the discussion between the two sides.

When you read this statement, you will be able to better understand the attitude of the military council and their positions. Although they did not completely reject the request to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, they did not say exactly when and under what conditions he would allow the meeting. You will also see the indignation and dissatisfaction of the military council towards the United Nations for not accepting their representative and continuing recognition of Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun, a supporter of NUG, as the UN’s representative to Myanmar. 


At the regular meeting to be held this month, the matter of representation has yet to be discussed and decided, so the military council may have allowed the special representative of the UN Secretary General to visit before then.

However, the outcome of the visit was not good, and by releasing details of the discussion, which were not routine diplomatically, the military council appeared to have worsened relations with the UN.