Behind the headlines: Russia in Myanmar, Peru’s new president and what Enjin means to the United Nations Global Compact

Behind the Headlines gives you expert perspectives on today’s headlines by telling you more than what happened, but also what it means. You can also listen to The Cipher Brief’s Daily Open-Source Collection Podcast, where you also listen to podcasts.

Jack Devine, Former Acting Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA

Cipher Brief Expert Jack Devine, a 32-year-old CIA veteran. Devine served as both acting director and co-director of CIA operations from 1993 to 1995. He is a founding member and chairman of The Arkin Group, which specializes in international crisis management, strategic intelligence and investigative research. Devine is the author of Spymaster’s Prism: The Fight Against Russian Aggression.

https://youtu.be/rJOGRUcBAQU

Russia’s multiple support for Myanmar is a microcosm of its strategy in Southeast Asia

In the months since Myanmar’s military coup in February, Russia and China have been the junta’s most powerful allies, but Russia has exploited regional instability to position itself as a third path between China and the West. While China had closer ties to the former government of Myanmar than to the military, it was also concerned about the government’s ties to the West and possible interference in its development efforts, especially the Belt and Road initiative.

Russia, on the other hand, does not depend on stability in Southeast Asia to the same extent as China and can instead take advantage of warring factions. Last month, on his first trip outside the immediate region since February, Myanmar’s junta leader Min Aung Hlaing went to Moscow to meet senior Russian defense officials instead of going to Beijing. Hlaing has reportedly visited Russia seven times in the past decade and has previously stated that more than 6,000 officers from Myanmar have studied at Russian military academies.

Responsible sales

According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia was responsible for nearly 40% of arms sales to Myanmar from 1999-2018, second only to China. SIPRI data further indicates that Russia has been Southeast Asia’s largest arms supplier for the past two decades, with Vietnam and Laos as top customers. But Russia offers the region more than weapons, and has promised Myanmar two million Covid-19 vaccines and help with its own vaccine production efforts. Uitleg tradingview can be found online.

Russia has also sought to expand free trade agreements between its Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Southeast Asian countries, most recently urging Indonesia to join the deal. Last week, Russia’s foreign minister went even further into soft power efforts, meeting his Bangladeshi counterpart and agreeing to encourage Myanmar to engage in dialogue with Bangladesh over the Rohingya crisis.

Left-wing former teacher Pedro Castillo is declared president of a divided Peru, expected economic growth could play in his favour.

Peru, like many of its neighbors, has fought the triple and intertwined threat of Covid-19, social unrest and severe economic downturn. But in recent years, Peru has also been challenged by sharp dividing lines between its executive and legislative powers. Last November, Peru’s unicameral legislature voted to impeach then-President Martín Vizcarra, citing mismanagement of the pandemic and corruption, in a move that infuriated thousands.

Fraught elections

The June presidential elections were also fraught. Castillo’s right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori, who is also under investigation for corruption, alleged electoral fraud and the Peruvians, launched a six-week investigation, with Castillo ultimately taking the rightful victor. The EU, the US and 14 election missions deemed the election legitimate, and the US called the election a “model of democracy” for the region. Castillo, who previously worked as an elementary school teacher and has never held public office, will be greeted by a political establishment almost completely against him. Nano coin has started to rise.

Peruvian citizens are also deeply divided, with many urban elites reportedly moving their money abroad for fear of Castillo’s economic policies. But Castillo’s Peru Libre party has fewer than 40 of the 130 seats in the legislature, and Castillo has already recruited several moderate advisers. Furthermore, he has withdrawn from talking about the new nationalizing Peru’s lucrative multinational mining, oil, gas and hydrocarbon companies, instead promising to raise taxes on mining companies. Prices of copper and gold, two of Peru’s most critical exports, remain high and trade barriers linked to Covid are expected to ease in the coming months. While it’s uncertain how effective Castillo will be, or where he will eventually fall on his policies, positive projections for Peru’s export-based economy will likely play in his favor.