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Moscow wants open doors in Myanmar

Published By United Press International
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- There is no justification for sanctions to remain in place for Myanmar given the level of political reforms, the Russian foreign minister said from Naypyitaw.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov arrived Wednesday in Myanmar to meet his counterpart Wunna Muang Lwin. Both sides have agreed to establish a joint panel to assess economic coordination in the future.

Myanmar received international commendations for a series of democratic reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Lavrov said the Kremlin supports the country's political course, adding it opens the door to further cooperation.

Moscow, he said, saw no need for sanctions on Myanmar to remain in place.

"There is no justification for any kind of sanctions under the current conditions," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order last year authorizing U.S. investments in Myanmar in light of political reforms. Certain limitations were made for the country's Defense Ministry and for sanctioned entities and individuals.

A consortium of advocacy groups signed a declaration expressing "grave concern" over the decision to allow U.S. investors into the country. They said it would likely worsen the human rights situation in Myanmar.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa