Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing held an interview with Russia Today TV during his visit to Russian Federation to attend the 75th Anniversary of the Victory Day of Great Patriotic War Parade there at the invitation of Minister of Defence of Russian Federation Army General Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu.The following are the questions and answers of the interview:
An interview with Russia Today TV
Russia Today TV: It’s an honour and pleasure for us as Your Excellen-cy had attended the Victory Day of Great Patriotic War of Russian Federation at the time when the whole word was facing hardships because of COVID-19 pandemic. As a Russian, I am pleased and thankful for the information that Your Excellency has brought back 19 Russians from Myanmar. Please elaborate your idea of bringing the Russians back to their country from Myanmar.
Senior General: Myanmar people have the sympathetic spirit. We Buddhists have this spirit. We are always thinking of ways to help those who are in need. I had a mission to visit Russia at the time when travelling had become difficult because of COVID-19. Besides, my plane had a lot of vacant seats. So I brought them, and I believed they would be happy, because their troubles were over. Their happiness also gave me pleasure, so I brought them. Basically, Myanmar people have sympathy, and that’s their core part.
Russia Today TV: We have known that Your Excellency has attended the Military Parade at the Red Square. Your remarks on the occasion, please.
Senior General: It’s a grand and systematic Military Parade. Although it was systematic, it had no pressures. Soldiers may feel pressure, but in this parade the performance was totally synchronized and perfect. Another thing is the showcase of the success, history and dignity of Russia and the people. It is an honour for me to attend the Parade, and Russian people will take it as their pride. It’s an honour for other world countries to show their successes. So, it is one of the best military parades. It is an honour for the country and an encouragement for the people.
Russia Today TV: Although all the Russian people could not attend the Parade, they were applauding the airshow from their respective places. We believe that Your Excellency has closely watched the airshow. We know that Your Excellency’s country is also using helicopters and planes from Russia. I think you were satisfied with the show, and your remarks, please.
Senior General: These planes and helicopters were really made in Russia, and they were the original ones. They were powerful aircraft of high quality. Helicopters and planes made low altitude flights. So, we could see them clearly. They were powerful planes, and the pilots were very skillful, and could fly in harmony. I felt pleasure as Myanmar is also using these types of aircraft.
Russia Today TV: Are you satisfied with the Russian-made planes and helicopters?
Senior General: Yes, because they are really good, and of high quality.
Russia Today TV: Those planes and helicopters are the results of the success of the bilateral cooperation. What is your view of the bilateral technical cooperation?Your opinion, please.
Senior General: Russian-Myanmar military technology cooperation has exceeded two decades. It’s a long time. The scope of the gradually developed bilateral cooperation has become wider and firmer. Sincerely speaking, the bilateral cooperation has provided our defence system with a lot of benefits, so it is satis-factory and beneficial. I would say that we are going to further enhance the bilateral cooperation.
Russia Today TV: Russia has many friendly nations in Southeast Asia and supports them politically as well as economically as much as it can. Among these friendly nations, Myanmar is a strategic partner for Russia. In this connection, what is your view on Russia?
Senior General: We are not new friends who have established relations recently. We have established relations for more than 70 year. We have a long history of friendly relations for ages. Russia has been offering assistance for the development of Myanmar for ages. Cooperation between two countries can be expanded comprehensively not only in the economic field but also in the cultural field. By cooperating in the economic field, people will be directly involved in the relations between the two countries and people from our country will visit Russia and Russian people will do business in Myanmar. The more they interact with each other, the stronger the friendship between the two countries will emerge. Cultural cooperation will make the friendship even stronger. It is also a friendship resulted from cultural cooperation. Cooperation in the two fields will add momentum to and expand the relations between the two countries.
Russia Today TV: We are very pleased to learn that you have a strong desire to promote Russia-Myanmar friendship. We have also pragmatically learnt that friendship between Russia and Myanmar has developed because there is a leader of the country with such a strong desire in Myanmar. Under the constitution of Myanmar, you can perform much more serious duties than your current ones as far as we know. If you have a chance to fulfil such serious duties, what are your future plans for Russia-Myanmar friendship?
Senior General: Wherever I am, I have plans to promote friendship and cooperation. There are many fields to promote friendship and cooperation. We need to cooperate in the economic field as well as for world peace. These are very important. If we can do these tasks, we will be able to contribute to regional stability, regional economic development, national economic development and the economic development of the world. Russia is a powerful country. I believe that we will achieve success if we can do these tasks. As you are talking mainly about cooperation between the two countries, I would like to add one more point. The foreign policy of Myanmar is independent relations with all countries. We act in accordance with the principle of peaceful coexistence. In cooperation with neighbouring countries, regional countries and the international community, we want to work together with all countries in any spheres of mutual understanding and benefits in the interest of the region and the world. I am saying what I feel in my mind. As Russia is a country which has understood and cooperated with us, we always give priority to Russia. I would like to say that we will cooperate with any countries which work together with us based on mutual understanding and cooperation.
Russia Today TV: We fully believe that a leader of the country like you who possesses such desires and capabilities will implement them wher-ever you are. We hope that you will be able to perform duties with higher authorities in the interest of the country, the world and world peace.
Senior General: Thank you for your words. I always have such desires.
Russia Today TV: You discussed security and peace. The most im-portant threat to regional security, international security, international relations and peace is terrorists and insurgents. Could you please talk about them briefly?
Senior General: Why did they become terrorists and insurgents? It is necessary for us to look at the background and origin of terrorists and insurgents. First, the issues can be solved through political means. Second, they can be solved through military means. Terrorist acts mean killing people with the use of weapons. Therefore, we will respond to them militarily. Militarily, we will make them weak. Priority will be given to such measures. If we can cut them off their support, they will be weakened. This cannot be done by a respective individual country alone. It is necessary for other countries to help that country. Terrorist acts cannot be committed by an organization with only one stance. There are supports behind them financially. They have providers of weapons, ammunition, rations, cash and recruits. How can we cut them off ? Relevant organizations in the country encountering the terrorist organization are required to work together with other countries that are cooperating with them. Diplomacy is very important in such issues. In fact, we need good friends. I believe that if there are good friends to cooperate with, terrorist acts can be overcome. Friendship and cooperation will help overcome terrorist acts. Terrorist acts can be eliminated. If other countries do not cooperate fully and support them behind on one hand and try to keep good relations with the relevant country on the other hand, it will be difficult in anti-terrorism.To sum up, there are only three factors. First, terrorist organizations can be defeated militarily. Second, issues can be solved politically through negotiations with it. Third, issues can be solved through diplomacy in cooperation with neighbouring and friendly nations. The issues can be solved through these three ways.
Russia Today TV: Your replies are very invaluable. Even senior officers serving in the Russian army do not possess such ideologies. Only the leaders of nations who are serving their country and politicians have such ideologies. We are proud of you as you are thinking in the interest of the people and the world while performing duties in the Tatmadaw. At present, we are combating not only terrorists and insurgents but also COVID-19 pandemic.What would you like to suggest regard-ing the fight against COVID-19 pandemic?
Senior General: A country alone cannot fight it. There must be cooperation between all the countries around the world. Cooperation of citizens is also necessary. And it is also necessary for governments or authorities to provide enough assistance. These are the necessity. We can’t control this disease. We still don’t know much about the disease. This poses a grave danger. Full cooperation of all the countries is a must, which is the top priority. And all those who can give a hand should give a hand. We should not just think it is nothing to do with us. Everyone must join hands. For example, everyone should think about what he can do and what he can make others do to prevent the disease. If one ignores it, he can contract it anytime. We are very worried about it. If possible, it is the best if all the people and countries follow the COVID-19 rules and regulations. There is no guarantee so far about how to prevent the disease.
Russia Today TV: A military parade to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Victory Day of Great Patriotic War was held today in Russia. And March 27, 2020 also marked the 75th Anniversary of founding of Tatmadaw in your country.
Though that event could not be held, the victory is the same in nature. We are very proud that the two countries have similar victories and are cooperating. We would like to know your opinion about how the world’s leaders should act to prevent the world wars in the future.
Senior General: We all have our past. The past is not to blame, but to learn. The problems will never end if you point a finger at the past things. The victory we are talking here is the victory over fascism, but not the victory over a nation or a race. We defeated fascism. World countries must think about how to prevent the history from repeating. Citing past events and pointing the finger of blame for past bullies will not guarantee peace and stability. So, the best option is to learn lessons from past events, and think about how to prevent it, and how to improve the situation. If all the global countries work from that perspective, I believe the world will achieve peace and prosperity.
Russia Today TV: We learnt that 9 is the lucky number in the culture of Myanmar, and Myanmar people traditionally view 9 as the lucky number. The original date of the 75th Anniversary of the Victory Day of Great Patriotic War is May 9, but the event was postponed until now due to COVID-19. And in your country, Armed Forces Day falls on March 27, which is also number 9. I would like to know on which day you would hold the event, if you have any plan to do so, and when you plan to hold it?
Senior General: It will depend on how much we can control COVID-19 pandemic in our country, as well as on weather. We will organize it accordingly. As you said, number 9 is highly regarded in our society. And yes, 27 is number 9. I plan to hold the Armed Forces Day event on a lucky date. But, there are other factors that we need to consider. Suppose we select a date for holding an event, but if we cannot hold the event on that date due to other reasons, we may feel frustrated. So, we will choose a date that can be appropriate rather than the lucky date.
Russia Today TV: If an event can be held successfully on the selected date, that date is the lucky date. The event can be held on that date not because the date is auspicious. In fact, the date becomes auspicious because the event is held on that date. So, today June 24 has become an auspicious date as the parade was held. Therefore, we believe the parade can be held on an auspicious date in Myanmar. And we heard that it would be held on a grand scale. So, we would like to know if you wish to have the parade broadcast to the entire world like Russia did. If you have such a wish, Russia Today TV Channel is ready to help. If we are invited, we would like to come and record and broadcast to the whole world.
Senior General: Military parades are intended to showcase defence capacity, and the love of the people for their country. Today’s parade demonstrates both. Around the world, countries organize their annual military parades on a grand scale. The parades are not intended to threaten others, but to demonstrate a country’s defence capacity, its unity and morale. We have held our military parades on a grand scale. And we have also planned to organize 75th Anniversary of Armed Forces Day. We will also show the event to the world. We will broadcast it live. We would be more than happy if the RT would come and broadcast it. I would send the invitation. But, it would be better for both of us not just to promote the military parade, but make a documentary on reality of Myanmar such as its beauty, friendliness and hospitality of Myanmar people, harmony among people of different faith, and show it to the world. It is also good to do so for the friendship between two countries. But, I would like to request that you observe Myanmar from various perspectives if you are to do so.
Russia Today TV: Thank you for giving the interviewing. And we are also grateful that you would invite us, and as a Russian citizen, we would like to thank you for attending the state event in Russia. We wish Myanmar stability, peace and prosperity.
Senior General: You are welcome. I hope that your wish may be fulfilled.