Myanmar receives first shipment of Russia's Su-30 fighter jets

Myanmar receives first shipment of Russia's Su-30 fighter jets

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu shakes hands with Myanmar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister for Defence Admiral Tin Aung San during a ceremony to unveil a monument on the sidelines of the international military-technical forum Army-2023 in the Moscow region, Russia, Aug 14, 2023. (Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu shakes hands with Myanmar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister for Defence Admiral Tin Aung San during a ceremony to unveil a monument on the sidelines of the international military-technical forum Army-2023 in the Moscow region, Russia, Aug 14, 2023. (Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

Myanmar has received the first shipment of two Russian Su-30 fighter jets, Charlie Than, Myanmar's trade minister, told the Russian RIA state news agency in remarks published on Sunday.

"Two aircraft have already been delivered," Than told RIA on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, Russia's annual forum aimed at developing economic cooperation in the region and encouraging foreign investment, which starts on Sunday in the port of Vladivostok.

Russia and Myanmar signed a contract in September 2022 for the delivery of six Su-30SME fighter jets, RIA said.

The Sukhoi Su-30SME multi-role fighter jet is designed for enemy's aerial targets engagement, aerial reconnaissance, combat employment and pilot training, according to Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-controlled arms exporter.

Separately, Than told the Russian TASS state news agency that a number of bilateral agreements will be signed at the East Economic Forum, including on developing tourism between the two countries.

The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The United States has warned that Russia's backing for Myanmar's military rulers is unacceptable and destabilising, with its supply of weapons helping to fuel a conflict that has become a catastrophe for the country.

Russia's defence minister and top diplomat have visited Myanmar, while junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has been to Russia several times since 2021 and was given an honorary doctorate. 

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