NOTES OF A BURMESE DIPLOMAT N. LISTOPADOV Doctor of Historical Sciences On January 4, 2008, Myanmar celebrated the 60th anniversary of independence, and on February 18 of the same year, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Myanmar was celebrated. I decided to respond to these events with a story about my modest experience of participating in the development of Russian-Myanmar cooperation as a Burmese translator, an employee of the Soviet and then Russian embassy in Rangoon (now Yangon) in the 80s and 90s of the XX century. I first went to Myanmar, then Burma, in October 1982. At that time, this country pursued a policy of self-isolation in the international arena, thereby striving to equidistant from the participants of the "cold war", which in Indochina turned into a "hot"one. In 1979, the Burmese leadership took the unprecedented step of withdrawing from the Non-Aligned Movement, considering that the Movement was no longer truly non-Aligned, in order to protect itself from accusations of leaning in one direction or another in regional and world affairs. The situation for Myanmar was compounded by the decades-long standoff between Moscow and Beijing. Beijing was jealous of Soviet activity in the neighboring country, which it considered its sphere of influence. China had considerable leverage over the Burmese government, the underground Communist Party of Burma (CPB), which was under its influence. Soviet-Burmese relations were going through difficult times. The Burmese government decided to limit ties with Moscow in order not to irritate Beijing, given the Soviet-Chinese contradictions. Contacts at the highest political level have come to naught. Trade and economic cooperation was characterized by a very small volume. Nevertheless, the Soviet presence in Burma was felt. There was a large embassy, and almost all the diplomats were knowledgeable in Burmese or Chinese. The offices of trade and economic advisers, a Cultur ... Read more

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Japan Online
Tokyo, Japan
19.07.2023 (332 days ago)
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