World

Putin expresses concern over NATO military build-up near Russian borders

June 23, 2021
FIle photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at the Duma.
FIle photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at the Duma.

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday expressed his country's concern over the increase of NATO forces near the Russian border.

NATO is increasing its military capabilities near the Russian borders, Putin said in a speech during the Moscow International Security Conference, which started Wednesday.

Putin pointed to his country's initiative to reduce tension, saying that Russia calls for establishing dialogue with the aim of ensuring security, easing tension and reaching agreements on arms control.

He also reiterated the importance of the new Russian initiative regarding security balance, which would take into account all the factors that affect strategic stability.

More than 600 military and political figures and experts in the fields of security and international relations are participating in the Moscow Conference on International Security.

The conference discusses issues of global and regional stability, as well as topics related to arms control and disarmament and the role of the armed forces in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Myanmar's junta chief arrived in Moscow to attend a security conference, marking only his second known trip abroad since he seized power in a coup.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) government in February.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing left the capital Naypyidaw Sunday on a special flight to attend the Moscow Conference for International Security, state-run MRTV said.

He was attending at "the invitation of Russian Defense Minister," it said, adding he had been "greeted" by the Russian ambassador to Myanmar at the airport.

It did not give details on how long he was expected to stay in Russia, an ally and major arms supplier to the Myanmar military.

Hlaing's visit comes after the UN General Assembly took the rare step on Friday of calling on member states to "prevent the flow of arms" into Myanmar. Russia abstained from the vote.

Hlaing attended crisis talks with leaders of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc in Jakarta in April — his first overseas trip since he seized power. — Agencies


June 23, 2021
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