ASEAN, a regional alliance of Southeast Asian nations, is pushing for a five-point proposal to peacefully avert a political crisis following a military coup in Myanmar. Russia fully supports such an initiative. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said ASEAN’s five-point diplomatic initiative should be the basis for normalizing the situation in Myanmar.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks at an online news conference during a visit to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Tuesday. At the time, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was by his side. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera reported in a report.
“When contacted by Myanmar’s political and military leaders, we (the Kremlin) spoke of the importance of a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in ASEAN on a five-point basis,” Lavrov told reporters. This is Russia’s clear position to restore peace in Myanmar. “Western powers, including the United States, have re-imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s military. They allege that the junta of Myanmar has taken a stand against democracy. Deadly weapons are being used against the people of their own country. However, Russia has not taken any strict action against Myanmar. In such a situation, Russia supports the five-point initiative of the regional alliance ASEAN to restore peace.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the five-point ASEAN conflict was called for an immediate end to the conflict and for effective dialogue with the participation of all parties. Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won Myanmar’s national elections last November. Although the international community called the election “free and fair”, the country’s military did not comply. The junta seized power in a bloodless coup on 1 February. Myanmar’s influential pro-democracy leaders, including Suu Kyi, were detained. Suu Kyi is on trial for multiple charges, including bribery and breach of confidentiality.
However, the people of Myanmar did not accept the military coup. Myanmar’s highways have been buzzing for months demanding the release of Suu Kyi and an end to military rule. Demonstrations are going on. With the repression of the troops. So far, the army and police fired more than eight hundred protesters killed in Myanmar. Several thousand people, including journalists, have been detained. The ousted politicians have formed a ‘shadow government’ in Myanmar to overthrow the junta. ASEAN has come forward to stop the ongoing bloodshed in the country. The alliance leaders met in Jakarta last April. Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing took part in the meeting on his first foreign trip since the coup. At the conference, the leaders of the ASEAN Alliance called on the junta leader to immediately stop the killings, atrocities and bloodshed in Myanmar. ASEAN has put forward a five-point proposal to restore peace in Myanmar.
However, no visible implementation of these ASEAN proposals has been seen yet. No casualties were reported on Myanmar’s highways. Myanmar is facing new Western sanctions. Meanwhile, Min Aung Hlaing visited Moscow last month to attend a security conference.Fighting between the army and newly formed militias in several regions have displaced tens of thousands of people.
Despite junta leader Min Aung Hlaing agreeing to an ASEAN peace plan reached in April, the military has shown no intent to follow through and has instead reiterated its own, entirely different plan to restore order and democracy.
The ASEAN effort calls for dialogue between all parties, the appointment of a special envoy, greater humanitarian access and an end to violence, but the bloc’s most outspoken members, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, have been frustrated by the military’s lack of action.
Though it has expressed concern about the violence in Myanmar, Russia, a key supplier of arms and training to its military, is among only a few countries that have recognized the junta and has sent top officials to the country to meet the generals.
Russia last month welcomed Min Aung Hlaing and a military delegation for an extended visit to Moscow, during which he gave numerous speeches and media interviews and was bestowed an honorary professorship.
Lavrov also discussed with Retno an agreement on health cooperation and the possibility of jointly producing vaccines.