Myanmar has begun buying petroleum products from Russia and is expecting the delivery of diesel fuel in the coming days, the Southeast Asian country’s military leader said Wednesday.
Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing shared the news on his second visit to Russia in less than two months as both isolated countries seek to deepen ties in the face of international sanctions.
“Deliveries of petroleum products from Russia to Myanmar are already underway successfully,” Min Aung Hlaing told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
“We will receive the first shipment of diesel fuel from Russia in a few days,” he said, noting that Mynmar is ready to pay for supplies in Russian rubles.
“Whatever currency the Russian side accepts, that’s what we’ll pay. This makes it much easier for us because there are a lot of restrictions on receiving and transferring in other currencies,” Min Aung Hlaing said.
Myanmar has resorted to fuel oil imports after petrol prices surged 350% and the country was hit by shortages and power cuts since the military seized power in February 2021.
Russia is meanwhile seeking new export destinations for its energy carriers amid Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine and ahead of its biggest customer Europe’s expected oil embargo.
Russia is a major ally and arms supplier of the Myanmar military.
The Kremlin said Min Aung Hlaing met President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum in the port city of Vladivostok.