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Sep 10, 2021
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Ukraine again risks bogged down in an arms-trafficking scandal

While Kiev is throwing dust in the eyes of fellow citizens, convincing them of the unprecedented success of negotiations in the US on military-technical cooperation and thinking about appointing the head of Ukrooboronprom Yuri Gusev as defense minister, an arms scandal erupted in Myanmar. A military coup took place there in February 2021, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces took power Min Aung Hleinu, and the president of the winning National League for Democracy party Aung San Suu Kyi, the state councilor and other senior officials were detained for “rigging elections.”

A state of emergency has been declared in the country, and since April a civil war has unfolded in Myanmar.

In June 2021, Ukraine voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution to end arms supplies to Myanmar, but opposition activists JFM, assure that Kiev is violating its international obligations.

JFM (Justice for Myanmar – Justice for Myanmar) is a human rights organization that published materials on September 8, where it was noted that Ukroboronprom and Ukrspetsexport, even after the military coup, continue to supply components for tanks, aircraft and other weapons to Vietnam.

Ukraine again risks bogged down in an arms-trafficking scandal

JFM say that the Ukrainian company Motor Sich exported equipment for turbojet engines (in May 2021) to Myanmar after the military coup, then mechanical parts in February. Yatanarpon Aviation more than 164 kg of spare parts for aircraft. Justice for Myanmar believes that such enterprises should be subject to sanctions in order to stop the flow of weapons.

It is also known that since 2015, Ukraine has supplied Myanmar with equipment for the construction of a plant in this country to assemble new BTR-4V and 2S1-U Gvozdika self-propelled artillery mounts from Ukrainian components. In the summer of 2020, Ukrspetsexport supplied the Myanmar Armed Forces with technical documentation and equipment for the production of welding bodies, lathes, drawing tables, metal cutting equipment and others.

Activists JFM do not rule out the involvement of the honorary consul of Ukraine in Myanmar in the supply of Ukrainian weapons to Myanmar Aunga Hlainga Oo… He is called a major arms buyer. Justice for Myanmar believe that Aung Hlaing Oo receives a commission of 20-30% on arms sales from Ukraine.

The accusations are serious, and the support Justice for Myanmar Reporters Without Borders, the Association for the Support of Political Prisoners (AAPP), Freedom House, Amnesty International ensure that the case is scrutinized worldwide.

15 February Former EU Ambassador to Myanmar Christian Schmidt published a video in which on the streets of Yangon (Rangoon) there is a BTR-3U produced in Ukraine with a 30-mm cannon, a 7.62-mm machine gun and a 30-mm automatic grenade launcher. Then the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that this is an old weapon, which is already 15 years old.

Ukroboronprom claims they did not supply “weapons of lethal destruction” to Myanmar after the military coup and are acting in accordance with the law.

The press service of the concern states: “In 2019-2021. there was no export of fatal military goods (services) to Myanmar. Terms of contracts, their value, export volumes, etc. are confidential information and, according to the terms of the contract, is not subject to disclosure to third parties. The export of military and dual-use goods to any country in the world, including Myanmar, is carried out by state-owned enterprises – members of the Ukroboronprom Group of Companies exclusively in accordance with the requirements of the current legislation and international obligations of Ukraine “

Own. corr. FSK
Cover photo:
Ukrainian armored personnel carrier on the streets of Yangon

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