Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov to meet military leader on visit to Myanmar: Russian news agency

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Myanmar on Wednesday, TASS news agency reported, in one of the most high-profile visits to the Southeast Asian country since the military seized power in a coup last year.

Quoting a testimony of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, TASS said that Lavrov is expected to hold talks with Myanmar Foreign Minister Wonna Maung Lwin and meet with military commander Min Aung Hlaing in the capital, Naypyitaw.

Zakharova said the talks are expected to include discussions covering trade and economic cooperation, as well as defense, security and humanitarian relations.

Myanmar’s military junta has faced isolation and sanctions from many Western countries since overthrowing Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government and launching a bloody crackdown on dissent.

But relations with Russia remained cordial and the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier this month that the two countries would deepen defense cooperation after junta chief Min Aung Hlaing traveled to Moscow.

Thomas Andrews, the UN human rights expert on Myanmar, said in February that Russia had provided the military council with drones, two types of combat aircraft, and two types of armored vehicles, one with air defense systems.

Zakharova said that Lavrov will go to Cambodia after visiting Myanmar to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting and hold a number of bilateral meetings. (Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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