EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Sunday it was “no surprise” that Moscow and Beijing were blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo as the international efforts to halt the violence in Myanmar is yet to yield results.
“The world is horrified by the bloody military coup in Myanmar, with reports of more than 80 people killed in Bago last Friday. We are pursuing a robust diplomatic initiative in close coordination with like-minded partners. However, geopolitical competition in Myanmar makes it difficult to find common ground, to halt the violence and ensure a return to democracy,” Borell wrote in a blog post.
The bloc’s foreign policy chief further stated that even in the face of “such brutality”, geopolitics divides the international community and hampers a coordinated response.
Borell noted that Myanmar’s location makes it a strategic point for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (offering deep-sea access to the Indian Ocean), but also to India’s own corridor to the South China Sea. Other countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore also have strong economic interests in Myanmar. And Russia is the country’s second supplier of weapons, after China.
“Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Russia and China are blocking the attempts of the UN Security Council, for example, to impose an arms embargo.