U.S. sanctions target Myanmar junta-linked businessman for procuring Russian-made weapons
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on a Myanmar businessman and two others involved in procuring Russian-made weapons from Belarus for the junta that seized power in the Southeast Asian country early last year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The military staged a coup in February 2021, detaining democratic leaders including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, then violently suppressed protests, sparking a spiralling conflict.
The U.S. Treasury said in a statement it was imposing sanctions on Myanmar businessman Aung Moe Myint, the son of a military officer who it said facilitated arms deals including for missiles and aircraft, as well as a company he founded, Dynasty International Company Limited, and two of its directors.
Reuters was unable to reach Aung Moe Myint for comment.
The action freezes any U.S. assets of those designated and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.
Blinken in a statement cited Myanmar's execution of four activists in July and a deadly attack on a school by a military helicopter last month. He also pointed to a role the three people sanctioned on Thursday allegedly played in obtaining Russian-produced arms from Belarus.
"These designations also implicate the Burmese military’s long-time ties to the Russian and Belarusian militaries," Blinken said, using the country's former name.
"We will continue to use our sanctions authorities to target those in Burma and elsewhere supporting Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, as well as Russia and Belarus’ facilitation of the Burmese regime’s violence against its own people."
Russia is a main source of military hardware for the Myanmar military and has provided diplomatic cover amid international condemnation of the coup. Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia twice in recent months.
The State Department also barred former Myanmar police chief and deputy home affairs minister Than Hlaing from travelling to the United States for his involvement in human rights violations, the Treasury said, specifically citing the extrajudicial killings of peaceful protesters in February 2021.
The Myanmar Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Western nations have issued numerous rounds of sanctions against the military and its businesses since the coup, but efforts to isolate the junta have failed to stop a slide into what a U.S. envoy called a civil war.
The sanctions, including those issued on Thursday, fall short of targeting Myanmar's gas sales, the military's largest source of foreign revenue, a move that anti-junta forces and human rights advocates say could influence the military's behaviour.
“Current U.S. sanctions policy on Myanmar isn’t working," said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "This is like administering only half dosages of medicine and then hoping it will work like a full dose.”
Reporting by Simon Lewis, Susan Heavey and Daphne Psaledakis in WashingtonEditing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis
Nine out of 10 Canadians believe there could be a recession in 2023, according to a new national survey, with four out of 10 calling it 'likely.'
At first glance, it might seem like the deals have never been better as posters in store windows and online ads trumpet a steady stream of holiday sales. But some consumers say the discounts are more hype than real.
With the 2023 post-secondary education application deadlines approaching, many students across Canada are looking for alternatives to university and college, leaving parents anxious taking a ‘gap year’ could mean they never return to school.
Wouldn't it be nice to never have to work again? While this may sound like a dream to many, it is entirely possible. CTVNews.ca personal finance contributor Christopher Liew shares a handful of helpful tips on how to potentially achieve financial independence.
Recent homebuyers with variable-rate mortgages will find the adjustment to higher interest rates more painful, said Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers.
Buying your first car can be as exciting as it is daunting. Whether you’re buying a car off the lot from a dealership or purchasing a car in a private sale, contributor Christopher Liew shares in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca a few basic tips that you should always keep in mind.
In March 2022 alone, food banks across Canada had 1.5 million visits, a 15 per cent increase from the year prior and the highest recorded usage on record.
Many Canadians have one or two old credit cards that they no longer use. Before you jump to close your old, unused credit card, CTVNews.ca contributor Christopher Liew outlines some of the pros and cons of closing a credit card account, so you can make the most informed decision.