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Burma to Give Russia Access to Oilfields in Exchange for Arms


Russian news reports say Burma has agreed to allow Russia to share in exploitation of its oil fields, in exchange for weapons shipments.

The Kommersant newspaper reports Tuesday that Burma's second most senior leader, General Maung Aye, signed an oil-for-arms deal in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

The newspaper says Burma is seeking Russian help in developing an anti-aircraft system.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been meeting this week with his counterpart from Burma, Nyan Win. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday the two exchanged views on fighting terrorism, drug-trafficking and other transnational problems.

Russian officials say strengthening ties with Burma is one of Moscow's foreign-policy aims in Southeast Asia.

This week's wide-ranging talks between Russian officials and a visiting delegation from Burma also included a cooperation agreement between Russia's Zarubezhneft oil company and Burma's Energy Ministry.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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