Russia Calls for Lifting Myanmar Sanctions

NAYPYIDAW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia seeks the lifting of all remaining sanctions still imposed by some western nations against Myanmar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“There is no justification for any kind of sanctions under the current conditions,” said Lavrov, who is currently on an official visit to Myanmar, at a news conference following a meeting with his Myanmar colleague Wunna Maung Lwin.

Myanmar, previously called Burma, was ruled by 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 United States and the European Union in the 1990s, because of the country’s human rights record.

Last April the European Union voted to lift all sanctions on Myanmar, except for a ban on arms supplies. In July 2012, the United States restored diplomatic relations with Myanmar and lifted some sanctions, including a ban on investment.

Lavrov said Moscow supports the current political course of Myanmar’s government and its drive to strengthen relations with foreign states, adding it “opens additional possibilities for developing relations between the two countries in various spheres.”

Russia and Myanmar have already agreed to set up a joint inter-governmental commission and will sign a relevant agreement in the near future, he said, adding that two countries were also working on the establishment of a joint business council and an investment protection agreement.

Russia and Burma established diplomatic relations on February 18, 1948. Bilateral ties weakened during Burma’s period of military rule due to the international economic sanctions, but have been reinvigorated since 2011.

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