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Lavrov to hold talks in Myanmar with foreign minister, country’s leadership

The parties are expected to discuss the current state of and the prospects for the entire complex of relations between Russia and Myanmar, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlie

NAYPYIDAW, August 3. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will start his working trip across Southeastern Asia in Myanmar on Wednesday. Russia’s top diplomat has talks with the country’s top diplomat Wunna Maung Lwin and State Administrative Council Chairman, Prime Minister Min Aung Hlaing planned in Naypyidaw.

The parties are expected to discuss the current state of and the prospects for the entire complex of relations between Russia and Myanmar, including the political dialogue, trade and economic cooperation, interaction in the field of defense and security, as well as humanitarian ties, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier. Pressing international and regional issues are also on the agenda.

The visit to Myanmar will end on Wednesday, after which Lavrov will head to Cambodia, where in Phnom Penh he will participate in the meeting of the Russia-ASEAN format foreign ministers and hold a number of bilateral meetings.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said ahead of Lavrov’s trip that the relationship between the two countries was traditionally friendly.

"The key goal of the upcoming visit is to define prior areas of the Russia-Myanmar collaboration for strengthening the whole complex of bilateral ties. In this context mutual measures on promoting defense and security cooperation, ramping up trade and economic cooperation, humanitarian contacts will be agreed on, the issues of international and regional cooperation will be discussed," the ministry explained.

The military and technical collaboration between the two states have been developing fast for the past five years. There are also plans to continue stepping up political cooperation. "After the national parliamentarian elections are held in Myanmar (approximately in the middle of 2023) steps will be made to resume cooperation through legislative bodies," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The sides are also establishing economic cooperation. A representative delegation of Myanmar took part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2022.

Last year trade turnover between Russia and Myanmar reached $431.6 mln, up by 16.5% compared with 2020. An intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation is working, with its third meeting planned to be held by yearend.

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency for a year and announced that the nation’s leadership had been sacked. Army officials claimed widespread fraud in the November 2020 parliamentary elections. Protests against the ouster of the civilian government have been ongoing since early February 2021. The United States slapped sanctions on Myanmar in February 2021, after which the UK, Canada and the EU imposed restrictions.

Russia has not imposed sanctions against Myanmar. Moscow stands out for deepening the relations with the republic in various areas, including military and military-technical fields. Moreover, the Russian side supported the Five-Point Consensus urging the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the country, which was adopted at the ASEAN summit in April 2021.