Amid Continued Criticism, Myanmar Still Spending Big on Military

A reported deal for Myanmar to buy fighter jets from Russia is drawing criticism from some who say the country spends too much on the military and not enough on education and other priorities. On January 22, the Russian news agency TASS reported that Myanmar is planning to buy six Su-30 fighter jets from Russia, in a deal that a Myanmar media report estimated at $200 million.  Myanmar government officials could not be reached for comment on the Tass report. The deal was reached during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to Myanmar, according to the deputy defense minister Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin, who said the planes would “become the main fighter aircraft of Myanmar’s air force to protect the country’s territorial integrity and repel any terror threats.”  Fomin added that an estimated 600 Myanmar military personnel are studying in Russia’s higher military educational institutions.  On January 25, U.S. State...


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