The Courier-Mail

Russia and China helping Myanmar junta, says EU

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YANGON: Russia and China were deliberate­ly frustratin­g the internatio­nal response to the Myanmar crisis, a top EU diplomat said, as the death toll from the military crackdown climbed past 700.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military junta removed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power on February 1.

Internatio­nal efforts to stem the violence have so far failed to yield results, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell saying it was “no surprise” that Russia and China were blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo.

“Geopolitic­al competitio­n in Myanmar will make it very difficult to find common ground … but we have a duty to try,” he wrote in a blog post.

“The Myanmar military is used to internatio­nal isolation and has a decades-long record of ignoring the needs and the will of the country’s citizens,” he said.

Mr Borrell’s comments follow more days of intense violence in Myanmar, with clashes across the country leaving scores dead.

Over the weekend, a steady stream of mourners turned out to pay tribute to loved ones gunned down in the southern city of Bago, where security forces killed at least 82 anti-coup protesters in a brutal crackdown, according to a local monitoring group – although the true number killed is certain to be much higher.

 ??  ?? Pro-democracy protesters in Yangon.
Pro-democracy protesters in Yangon.

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