Moscow backs ASEAN consensus on Myanmar

Foreign Desk Report

MOSCOW: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed support for a Southeast Asian diplomatic effort to end the political crisis in Myanmar.
Speaking during a visit to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, Lavrov said the Five Point Consensus agreed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc should be the basis by which the situation in Myanmar can be resolved.
“In our contacts with Myanmar leaders, military leaders, we promote the position of ASEAN which should be in our view, considered as a basis for resolving this crisis and bring the situation back to normalcy,” Lavrov told media.
He was speaking at a video news conference following talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi. The diplomat’s comments are significant and come amid deepening engagement between Russia and Myanmar’s military, even as major global powers sanction its businesses and top leaders and call for a global ban on arms sales to the Southeast Asian country.
Marsudi emphasized the importance of the five-point consensus, which calls for an immediate end to the violence in Myanmar and the start of dialogue between all parties, and asked Russia to support its implementation. “This requires the commitment of Myanmar’s military to cooperate with other ASEAN member countries,” she said.
Myanmar has been in crisis since its military removed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1. The power grab unleashed nationwide anger that quickly turned into protests and strikes that were brutally suppressed by security forces. At least 892 people have been killed, while tens of thousands have been displaced.