Burma’s military-led government, in cooperation with the Russian State Atomic Energy Company, has inaugurated a nuclear energy information center as a step towards the development of atomic energy to fill energy shortages in the Southeast Asian nation .
Burmese state media reported on Tuesday that the head of the military government, senior general Min Aung Hlaing, met with Alexey Evgenievich Likhachev, director general of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp., or Rosatom.
Officials from the two sides met on Monday at the Nuclear Technology Information Center in Burma’s largest city Yangon, according to state-run Global New Light of Burma.
RUSSIA FAILS TO COMPLY WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS TREATY, STATE DEPARTMENT WARNS CONGRESS
Burma hopes to build and operate a reactor under a preliminary agreement between Burma and Rosatom signed in 2015, the paper said. The two sides signed in Moscow in July memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy, the formation and promotion of public understanding of atomic energy.
“Thanks to Rosatom’s cooperation, Burma will need to boost human resources related to the construction and operation of a small modular reactor in Burma and produce qualified experts for their respective fields,” the newspaper said, quoting Min Aung Hlaing.
“Both sides frankly exchanged views on the effective use of nuclear energy in health care and agriculture, including electricity generation and further cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” the newspaper said.
THOUSANDS FLIGHT BY PLANE IN BURMA, COMPLICATING THE CRISIS
The development is likely to ignite concerns that the Burmese military would like to develop a nuclear weapons capability. A decade ago there were suspicions that North Korea was supplying Burma with nuclear weapons technology, but there was no definitive proof.
Russia maintains friendly relations with Burma, which is treated as a pariah state by many Western nations after its military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021 and violently cracked down on the opposition, killing thousands of civilians and bringing to what some United Nations experts describe as civil war.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The United States and other nations have imposed political and economic sanctions against ruling generals, while Russia supplies weapons to the military, including fighter jets that are sometimes used against civilians.
Russia has been promoting nuclear energy cooperation with several Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.