Myanmar Ordered Pantsir-S1, Can Russia Deliver Any Weapons?

Under Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar has bought Russian weaponry including MiG-29 jet fighters and the Pantsir-S1 missile system. (Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters)

Russia will deliver Pantsir missile defence systems to Myanmar on schedule as outlined in the relevant sales contract, the RIA news agency cited the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as saying on Wednesday.

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

Russia says it has a long-standing and strategic relationship with Myanmar and believes the authorities are doing all they can to try to stabilise what it has called the “quite serious” situation there.

Myanmar and Russia struck the deal for the Pantsir systems in January 2021, RIA cited Dmitry Shugayev, the Russian weapons official, as saying.

“We will deliver (the systems) in line with the terms and conditions stipulated in the contracts, he was quoted as saying.

A ban on the export of dual-use goods – items with both a civilian and military purpose, such as vehicle parts – has been imposed by the UK, EU and US.

The UK is also imposing sanctions on Russia’s Wagner Group – a private military firm thought to function as an arms-length unit of the Russian military.

Disconnecting Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank from the international payments system Swift, used to transfer and receive money across borders.

India recently cancelled Ka-31 Helicopters, MiG-29 fighter jets and Mi-17 Helicopters contract with Rosoboronexport because Russia couldn’t source high-tech materials from European markets. It’s highly likely that Russia will not fulfil Myanmar’s contract.

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