The head of Russian truck giant Kamaz visited Myanmar last week for talks with the terrorist Myanmar military junta to produce trucks in Myanmar, and will finalise an agreement by June.
Kamaz was part of a delegation from Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, led by its president, Rustam Minnikhanov.
Russian investment will further aid and abet the junta’s atrocity crimes.
Kamaz General Manager, Sergey Kogogin, joined talks with junta head and war criminal Min Aung Hlaing, and the junta’s investment minister, Aung Naing Oo.
Sergey Kogogin has been recently sanctioned by the UK and Australia, while Kamaz has been sanctioned by Australia and the EU, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian military used Kamaz trucks to invade Ukraine.
Kamaz is a supplier of the Myanmar military. It transferred seven military trucks to Myanmar in 2020 and the company manufactures the trucks used to mount the Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile system, which the Myanmar military ordered in January 2021.
Junta head Min Aung Hlaing visited Kamaz during a trip to Tatarstan in June 2021, with a delegation of more than forty people.
Kamaz’s biggest shareholder is Russia’s state-owned arms conglomerate Rostec.
Germany’s Mercedes-Benz owns 15% of the company, on behalf of Daimler Truck.
Daimler Truck has a joint venture with Kamaz, but froze cooperation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As investors, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Truck must clarify the steps they have taken to end Kamaz’ business with the Myanmar military, according to their human rights responsibilities, following the Rohingya genocide and the military’s coup attempt.
Tatarstan’s President Minnikhanov has a longstanding relationship with Min Aung Hlaing, and is promoting multiple business-links with the Myanmar military.
His April trip included representatives from Rostec subsidiary Kazan Helicopters, which supplies helicopters to the Myanmar Air Force; engineering company Ker-Holding, which is involved in the Pang Pet steel plant, a project of military conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation; and naval shipbuilder JSC Zelenodolsk Plant.
Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “Minnikhanov and Kogogin’s visit to Myanmar show that the Russian regime’s links to the terrorist Myanmar junta are deepening.
“The visit comes as sanctions are rolled out against Russian businesses following the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, while the international response to the military’s coup attempt remains weak and uncoordinated.
“While it is positive that Australia has sanctioned Kamaz and Sergey Kogogin, they have not imposed any sanctions in response to the military’s illegal coup attempt.
“Developing business ties will provide future revenue and embolden the Russian regime, the Myanmar junta and their business associates.
“Increased access to military vehicles and truck manufacturing capabilities will aid the Myanmar military’s campaign of terror, as it commits mass killings, torture, rape, forced displacement and the destruction of whole villages.
“We demand urgent international action against the Myanmar military junta and its business interests, including targeted sanctions and a global arms embargo.
“Russia is committing atrocities in Ukraine, while also aiding and abetting the Myanmar military junta’s atrocities.
“We call on the international community to impose further sanctions on Russia for its complicity with the Myanmar military’s international crimes against the people of Myanmar, including against Kamaz, Rustam Minnikhanov and Sergey Kogogin.”
Read our feature on Kamaz and Tatarstan business links with the Myanmar military here
See JFM’s list of 19 Russian companies that supply the Myanmar military and should be sanctioned