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Russia calls to lift sanctions against Myanmar
January 16, 2013, 3:24 pm

Burma and Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Burmese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin. [Getty Images]

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged the West to lift sanctions against Myanmar.

“There is no justification for any kind of sanctions under the current conditions,” Lavrov said at the meeting with his Burmese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin in Myanmar.

Lavrov has favoured the political course the Burmese government is following and believes sanctions imposed in the 1990s by the US and the European Union are currently outdated in this “democratic” country.

Sergei Lavrov has also invited his counterpart to Russia, as part of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries.

“We have traditionally friendly, trustful relations with Myanmar. In February we will celebrate 65 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations and we have agreed to hold special events to celebrate the anniversary,” Lavrov said.

The countries plan to set up a joint inter-governmental commission in the near future,

They are also working on the establishment of a joint business council and an investment protection agreement.

Burma has been under military control since a coup d’état in 1962.

In the 1990s the US and the European Union imposed sanctions because of the country’s consistent human rights violations, including genocide, rape, slavery and human trafficking.

In April 2012, EU voted to lift sanctions against Myanmar, although preserving a ban on arms supplies.

The US has restored diplomatic relations with the country and eased the sanctions as well.

However, some constraints are still in place.

Russia and Myanmar established diplomatic relations 65 years ago, on February 18, 1948.

The ties weakened under the junta rule in Burma, and reinforced as Myanmar underwent serious political and socio-economic changes in 2011.

Daria Chernyshova