Russia is going ahead with plans to deliver Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to Myanmar’s increasingly isolated military regime, a top defense cooperation official was quoted as saying Friday.
Moscow has continued to support Myanmar with arms deals and military delegation visits following the ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint this year.
According to Deutsche Welle, Dmitry Shugayev, the chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said Russia “continues to implement plans” toward delivering Su-30 jets and Yak-130 training aircraft to Myanmar.
Russia had agreed to sell six Su-30 aircraft to Myanmar in 2018, when the army was in the middle of a military offensive against Rohingya militants that the United Nations called ethnic cleansing.
Shugayev added that Myanmar’s air force currently operates Russian-made Yak-130 and MiG-29 fighter jets.
After the military coup in February, Russian customs data showed the Myanmar junta importing $14.7 million in radar equipment that month. That followed the delivery of $96 million worth of classified defense-related goods in December.
International watchdogs say Myanmar has spent $807 million on Russian arms imports over the past decade, making Russia the country’s No. 2 military exporter after China.
During his visit to Naypyitaw in January, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu agreed to supply Myanmar with Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems, Orlan-10E surveillance drones and radar equipment.
The United States has suspended a trade deal with Myanmar until democratic leadership is restored and several Singaporean companies, including a firm that sold anti-drone products to Myanmar’s police, have canceled their deals.
The European Union has accused Russia of blocking a coordinated international response to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar and the turmoil it has faced since. Rights groups meanwhile accuse Moscow of “legitimizing” the country’s “brutal and unlawful attempted coup.”