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Myanmar in ASEAN

29.03.2011

p6358_1.jpgMOSCOW, 29 MARCH 2011. PIR PRESS – Myanmar has undoubtedly become an important and prospective partner for Russia. Because of the strength of its geographical situation as it borders both China and India and because of the strength of its size, natural resources and economic perspectives” – Deputy director of the Russian Research Center on APEC, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to the Union of Myanmar (1997-2001) Gleb Ivashentsov.

On March 23 2011, the PIRCenter, together with ASEANCenter at MGIMOUniversity, held the meeting of the PIR Center Advisory Board on the following topic: «Myanmar in ASEAN: Regional Problems and Russia's Interests». Participants discussed the current state and prospects of cooperation between Russia and Myanmar, as well as the policies of ASEAN countries, China and India towards this country.

Myanmar's closest neighbors – ASEAN countries, China and India are interested in maintaining stability in that country and the whole region. Russia is interested in this issue too, because of the opportunities to collaborate with Myanmar in different fields from military-technical cooperation to tourism.

“Myanmar has undoubtedly become an important and prospective partner for Russia. Because of the strength of its geographical situation as it borders both China and India and because of the strength of its size, natural resources and economic perspectives.” remarks Gleb Ivashentsov, “Today, in Myanmar, a new generation is coming to power. Whether they are military or not is not the question. What is important is to look at ways in which Myanmar must develop further.”

p6358_2.jpgMany Russian companies have manifested interest in working with Myanmar. Building a subway in Naypyidaw could become one of the possible examples of a large joint project. Gleb Ivashentsov noticed that “there is a chance to launch an unprecedented project in the history of bilateral economic relations. However much of it will depend on the seriousness of Russia's intentions and its ability to correctly organize the process”.

Director of the ASEANCenter at MGIMOUniversity, Victor Sumsky, underlined that the situation around Myanmar will be defined by the importance of its geostrategic situation and the role of the Sino-American relations in East Asia. According to an expert, “neither Russia nor the ASEAN countries are concerned about the features of the U.S.-China rivalry starting to have a destabilizing impact in the region.”

Summing up the meeting, President of the PIRCenter, Vladimir Orlov, outlined training of technical intellectuals, military-technical cooperation, restoration of nuclear cooperation, telecommunications, and tourism as possible directions of cooperation between Russia and Myanmar. Vladimir Orlov said that in Myanmar “on the one hand, the influence of China is inevitable, but, on the other hand, regarding Russia's role, Myanmar can see some counterbalance to the rising Chinese influence. And we need large-scale projects in Myanmar, creativity and intensification of existing fields.”

p6358_3.jpgThe speakers were: Associate Professor of MGIMO University Ksenia Efremova, Associate Professor of Institute of Asia and Africa, Moscow State University Alexey Kirichenko, Counsellor of the Third Asian Department, MFA of Russia Alexander Kudryashov, Vice President of the Society of Friendship with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Dmitry Malov, Assistant Professor of the Center of Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS Aida Simonia, Assistant Professor of the Center of Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS Vyacheslav Urlyapov. Participants of the round table were the representatives of the Council of Federation, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia, Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Academy of Labour and Social Affairs, Rosatom, as well as representatives of business community.

Detailed information concerning PIRCenterAdvisory Board is available on our web-site.

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