YANGON Russia will abide by a deal to sell military aircraft and provide technical cooperation to Myanmar’s military, Moscow said after the agreement drew criticism from the U.S.

The Kremlin has reaffirmed its commitment to the deal, which was signed on Jan 20 during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to the country and will see Moscow sell six SU-30 fighter planes to the Tatmadaw.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert earlier urged Moscow to reconsider the agreement. In its response, Moscow said the sale of military equipment to Myanmar was aimed at helping the country boost its defense capability.

Last Friday, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency that Russia has invariably observed the norms, rules and principles of international law [in the field of military-technical cooperation] and it will continue doing so in the future. It goes without saying that for this reason we cannot pay attention to such accusations [by the United States over supplies of fighter jets to Myanmar].

In a statement dated Jan 26 and shared on the Russian Embassy’s Facebook page, Russia’s Information and Press Department said, At the same time, we believe that military-technical cooperation is a legitimate component of interstate relations, unless it contradicts the decisions of the UN Security Council. Deliveries of Russian military products to Myanmar aim to boost the country’s defense capability. Only a very vivid imagination of our State Department colleagues can perceive a link between this task and the threat of even greater sufferings of civilians.

The statement adds that Russia continues to be active within the international community’s efforts to facilitate the normalization of the situation in Myanmar, especially in Rakhine state, while respecting the country’s sovereignty and pledging non-interference in its domestic affairs, as well as providing humanitarian aid when requested.

The statement makes the claim that despite the fact that the U.S.’s own military equipment sales to the Southeast Asia region had resulted in destruction and casualities during recent conflicts, This does not prevent Washington from selling lethal weapons to Southeast Asian countries and building up its military presence in direct proximity to this region.

Political analysts predicted that with Moscow determined to foster collaboration between militaries, Russia-Myanmar military ties would only continue to deepen.

Russia and Myanmar have enjoyed good relations since the Russian military began selling military equipment to the country in the 2000s. Russia has also invited Myanmar soldiers to study in the country and provided the Tatmadaw with military technology.

Source: NAM News Network