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Vladimir Orlov on Myanmar for Kommersant Daily

02.12.2011

p6954_1.jpgMOSCOW, DECEMBER 2, 2011. PIR PRESS – “Washington has important reasons to start establishing good relations with Myanmar. Two weeks ago at the APEC summit in Honolulu president Barack Obama announced a major shift of the American foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region. White House is quite clear not only growing economy of Asia-Pacific bit also blistering rise of China are among the main reasons. In order to undermine Beijing's positions in the region, Washington plans to implement a number of steps, among which will be strengthening of contacts with the South-East Asian countries”, – PIR Center's President Vladimir Orlov in the article for the Kommersant newspaper.

On December 2, 2011 Kommersant newspaper published an article by PIR Center's President Vladimir Orlov The US Resorts to Extreme Countries (in Russian) in which he analyzes relationships between the USA, Myanmar and China in the light of yesterday's visit of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the capital of Myanmar – Naypyidaw. The first visit of such a high-ranked US official in the last fifty years is an evidence of a shift in the Washington's policy. One of the main reasons for it, according to Vladimir Orlov, is the new US regional strategy.

p6954_2.jpg“Washington has important reasons to start establishing good relations with Myanmar. Two weeks ago at the APEC summit in Honolulu president Barack Obama announced a major shift of the American foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region. White House is quite clear not only growing economy of Asia-Pacific bit also blistering rise of China are among the main reasons. In order to undermine Beijing's positions in the region, Washington plans to implement a number of steps, among which will be strengthening of contacts with the South-East Asian countries”, – notes PIR Center's President.

Both the USA and China have bonuses to offer to Naypyidaw and it will inevitably lead to difficult reconciliation of the interests of the two global players and the leaders of Myanmar. Russia at the moment is not actively promoting its agenda in the region.   

p6954_3.jpg“Russia is a mere spectator in the unfolding battle for Myanmar between the USA and PRC despite the fact that Moscow is the second most important partner for Naypyidaw after Beijing. The main cooperation track is through supplies of military equipment: in 2009 the Russian Federation sold Myanmar 20 MIG-29 aircrafts for about 500 million Euros. The only Russian company that implements a large project in Myanmar is Tyazhpromexport that builds a cast iron plant. Moscow has also obtained a contract to build a rapid transit system in Naypyidaw. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Myanmar is energy-rich country, Russian giants are not moving forward with the exploration of local hydrocarbons”, – comments Vladimir Orlov.

At the same time PIR-Center's President believes that Russia has other projects that could be of interest to Myanmar, the joint development of the peaceful nuclear energy is among them.

Full text of the article (in Russian) is available at the Kommersant website and in the PIR-Center's blog

PIR Center actively participates in the expert discussion on the Russian interests and place in the Asia-Pacific through its project APEC Summit-2012 and Russian interests in Asia-Pacific. On November 24, 2011 as a part of the project a meeting of PIR Center's Advisory Board on USA and China in Asia-Pacific Region: a View from Russia was held by PIR Center in cooperation with the ASEAN Center of MGIMO University.  On March 23, 2011, PIR <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Center, together with the ASEANCenter at MGIMOUniversity, held the meeting of the on the topic: Myanmar in ASEAN: Regional Problems and Russia's Interests.

For information related to the PIR <?xml:namespace prefix = u1 />Center's APEC Summit-2012 and Russian interests in Asia-Pacific project please contact program coordinator Ivan Trushkin. Tel.: +7 (495) 978-19-15, fax: +7 (495) 987-19-14, e-mail: trushkin at pircenter.org

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