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    A Myanmar police officer stands watch as journalists arrive in Shwe Zar village in the suburb of Maungdaw town, northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

    Moscow Responds to US Accusations Over Military Supplies to Myanmar

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian military supplies to Myanmar aim to strengthen the defense capability of that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

    "Supplies to Myanmar of Russian military products pursue the goal of strengthening that country's defense capability. Only colleagues from the State Department, with a very rich imagination, can see the connection between this goal and the threat of 'greater suffering' of the civilian population," the statement said.

    A similar position has been voiced by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who stressed earlier in the day that Russia had been adhering to all international norms. 

    "The president said among other things that in its military-technical cooperation, the Russian Federation observed, observes and will strictly observe all norms and principles of international law. So certainly we can't take into account such a position," Peskov said.

    The statements were made in the wake of State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert's accusations against Moscow, claiming that the latter aimed to "fuel more suffering and instability" in Myanmar by supplying weapons to the country amid escalated tensions around Rohingya Muslims. Despite Moscow's tough stance on the Rohingya crisis and vocal criticism of Myanmar's actions, the US representative called Russia's sales in the region "a good example of the challenges we face with certain governments."

     A similar rhetoric had been voiced by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on January 23, blaming Russia for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, accusing Moscow of failing to rein in Syrian President Bashar Assad and the government's forces.

    Tags:
    arms sales, Rohingya, Russia, Myanmar
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