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March 23, 2023, 12.12 PM

JAKARTA, - Myanmar can emerge from conflict if Russia stops supplying weapons to the military junta, Counselor of the US Department of State Derek Chollet said on Wednesday, March 22.

Speaking to reporters in Jakarta, Chollet said that "Russia should not get a pass on this" since it is Myanmar's most reliable friend right now in the international community, and Moscow is providing support to fuel the regime’s war machine, undermining ASEAN’s plan to cease violence and conduct a national dialogue.

"If we want to see a solution to the conflict inside Myanmar and want to see Myanmar return to peace and return to democracy, one way that can happen is if the junta is no longer able to import arms, and we would make a very large step in that direction if Russia were to stop supplying arms to the junta," he added.

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Chollet said the US will find ways to make it harder for Myanmar to acquire those weapons by imposing further sanctions against entities inside Myanmar.

So far, the United States has imposed sanctions against 80 individuals and 30 entities inside Myanmar, he said.

According to him, additional sanctions and measures are necessary to make it more difficult for Myanmar’s junta to generate revenue to buy weapons and fuel the war.

In addition to sanctions, Chollet said that the US has also taken steps to support ASEAN and intensify pressure on the military regime in Myanmar to stop the violence, release those detained unjustly, and allow unhindered humanitarian access into the country.

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Since the military coup more than two years ago, the military regime in Myanmar has unleashed widespread violence not seen in this part of the world in decades. Nearly half of the nation’s population is currently living in poverty and 17.6 million people need humanitarian assistance, according to the US Department of State.

Myanmar plans to stage elections this year, but the US believes that “without the participation of many of the country's key stakeholders, it is a recipe for prolonging the violence and instability.”

Source: State News Antara


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