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Russia seeks closer military ties with Myanmar

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Mar 05, 2013 22:50 hrs

Naypyidaw, March 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia is seeking improved ties including military cooperation with Myanmar, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said here during an official visit.

"In connection with the removal of sanctions, I think we have new opportunities in the defence ministry for cooperation," Shoigu said following a meeting in Naypyidaw with Myanmar's Vice President Nyan Tun.

The two states could also cooperate in future in trade, culture and education, Shoigu said.

A media report said Russia plans to admit Myanmar students to Moscow State University.

Myanmar, previously known as Burma, was ruled by a military junta from 1962 until 2011, when the military transferred power to an ostensibly civilian government.

Sanctions were imposed on the military regime by the US and the European Union in the 1990s, because of the country's human rights record.

The Myanmar armed forces are equipped with mainly Soviet and Chinese-made equipment, much of which is obsolete.

Last year, the EU voted to lift all sanctions on Myanmar, except for a ban on arms supplies.

In July 2012, the US restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar and lifted some sanctions, including a ban on investment.

In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the lifting of all remaining sanctions still imposed against Myanmar, during a visit to Naypyidaw.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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