Burma’s nuclear nexus with Russia

By Ko Wild

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:14

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - The Burmese military junta’s overt nuclear ambitions are out in the open, in a leaked document from the junta’s military establishment, which reveals that Burma’s number two strongman second Vice-Senior General Maung Aye, during a visit to Russia in 2006, had sought assistance in constructing a 10 million megawatt nuclear reactor.

The document, which is a top-secret memo, details the overseas travels of Maung Aye and Thura Shwe Mann, third in the military hierarchy.

The leaked document, a copy of which is in Mizzima’s possession, says Maung Aye during his trip to Russia sought assistance to build a nuclear reactor. He also sought military cooperation from the Russians.

At the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Maung Aye led a 60-member delegation on a five-day visit, April 2 to 6 2006, to Russia. He met the Russian Prime Minister as well as the Russian Army’ Chief of Staff Yury Baluyevksy, and Chief of Staff of the Navy and Air Force.

Maung Aye received positive response from Russia during the meetings, regarding his “special request” for assistance in constructing a 10 million megawatt nuclear reactor and to allow Burmese students in Russia to learn nuclear technology and aeronautical engineering.

Besides, he also got a nod for increased purchase of Russian-made MIG 29 and MIG 27 jet fighters, providing technical assistance in producing Guided Missiles and for purchase of ships.

As Russia, a veto wielding country at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), has blocked attempts by western countries to pass a resolution on Burma over its appalling human rights conditions, the delegation promised that Burma will back Russia’s effort to establish stronger ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The secret documents with Mizzima also reveal details of meetings between Russia’s Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army Lt-General Evnevich Valery G, who visited Burma in February 2008, with Maung Aye.

The meeting was also attended by General Thura Shwe Mann, the junta’s secretary (1), Commander-in-Chief (Navy), Commander-in-Chief (Air), Military Affairs Security Chief, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Defence and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kyaw Thu.

The Russian delegation led by Lt-General Evnevich Valery G, was accompanied by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Dr Mikhail Mgeladze and Military Attache' Colonel Alexander V Svinitsovskiy.

The document also reveals that the Deputy Minister of the Defence Ministry Maj-Gen Aye Myint led delegation and the Russian delegates formed a group for “cooperation in military technology.”

Similarly, documents with details of General Thura Shwe Mann led delegation’s visit to North Korea, following a visit to China in November 2008 was also leaked.

According to the leaked document, a copy of which is in Mizzima’s possession, North Korean and Burma agreed on military cooperation and military training. Besides, North Korea also agreed to build underground buildings including tunnels to hide warships and fighter planes.

Burma and North Korea severed diplomatic relationship in 1983, after North Korean agents attempted to assassinate the visiting South Korean President Chun Du-hwan. But both countries officially announced resumption of diplomatic relations in 2007.

Russia and Burma have maintained over 60 years of diplomatic relations.


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