BANGKOK, Feb. 7 (AP) — Myanmar’s military-led government, in partnership with Rosatom, has opened a nuclear power information center as a step toward developing atomic power to fill energy shortages in the conflict-torn Southeast Asian nation.
Myanmar’s state media reported on Tuesday that General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the junta, had met with Alexey Evgenievich Likhachev, director general of Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom.
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Officials from the two countries met on Monday at the newly opened Nuclear Technology Information Center in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, Myanmar’s state-run newspaper Global New Light said.
Myanmar wants to build and operate a reactor under a preliminary agreement signed between Myanmar and Rosatom in 2015, the newspaper said. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy, training and promoting public understanding of atomic energy in Moscow in July.
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“Because of Rosatom’s cooperation, Myanmar will have to strengthen human resources related to the construction and operation of Myanmar’s small modular reactors and train qualified experts for various departments,” the newspaper quoted Min Aung Hlaing as saying.
“The two sides had a candid exchange of views on issues such as the effective use of nuclear energy in the fields of health and agriculture, including electricity production, and further cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” the newspaper said.
The development could raise concerns that the Myanmar military wants to develop a nuclear weapons capability. There were suspicions a decade ago that North Korea was supplying Myanmar with nuclear weapons technology, but there was no hard evidence.
Russia maintains friendly relations with Myanmar, which is considered a pariah by many Western countries after its military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in 2021 and violently crushed the opposition, killing thousands of civilians and leading to what some UN experts say National Civil War.
The United States and other countries have imposed political and economic sanctions on ruling generals, while Russia has provided weapons to the military, including fighter jets that are sometimes used against civilians.
Russia has been promoting nuclear power cooperation with Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)