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The head of Russia’s state arms exporter said on Wednesday that Moscow was cooperating closely with Myanmar’s ruling junta to supply it with military hardware including aircraft.

Rights activists have accused Moscow of legitimising the junta, which seized power in a Feb. 1 coup, by continuing bilateral visits and arms deals.

“There is close cooperation between us on the supply of military products, including aircraft,” Alexander Mikheev, the head of Rosoboronexport, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

He gave no further details.

Mikheev described Myanmar as one of Rosoboronexport’s main clients in southeast Asia and a key partner of Rostec, Russia’s state aerospace and defence conglomerate.

He made the comments at Russia’s annual MAKS air show, which President Vladimir Putin attended on Tuesday.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Myanmar’s junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during his visit to the Russian capital last month that Moscow was committed to strengthening military ties.

Defence ties between the two countries have grown in recent years with Moscow providing army training and university scholarships to thousands of soldiers, as well as selling arms to a military blacklisted by several Western countries.

Reuters

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