Russia to sell Myanmar 20 MiG fighters - paper

By @ibtimes on

MOSCOW - Russia has agreed to sell Myanmar 20 MiG-29 jets for 400 million euro ($572.2 million), the Vedomosti daily reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources in Russia's defence industry.

Myanmar's reclusive military government, which has ruled the country for almost 50 years, is shunned by the West because of its human rights record, though Russia, India and China have sold the country arms over recent years.

The Vedomosti daily cited sources in the defence industry as saying that Russia had beaten off competition from China to win the fighter contract. China had been trying to sell Myanmar J-10 and FS-1 fighters, the paper said.

Russia supplied Myanmar with 12 MiG-29 fighters in 2001, the paper said, adding that the contract with Myanmar was Russia's biggest fighter deal since Algeria scrapped an agreement to buy 34 MiG-29s.

A spokesman for Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms exporter, declined to comment on the report.

According to preliminary official data, Russian arms exports rose to $8.5 billion in 2009 from $8.35 billion in 2008.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been riven by ethnic conflict since its independence from Britain in 1948. The military has in recent months stepped up its campaign against separatist rebels and some other minority groups.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge)

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