Russia says sanctions could push Myanmar towards 'full-scale civil conflict'

MOSCOW, April 6 (Reuters). Russia said Tuesday that sanctions against authorities in Myanmar were futile and extremely dangerous and could ultimately drive the country towards civil war, Interfax news agency reported.
Myanmar has been rocked by protests since the army overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 and made unfounded allegations of fraud in an election in November.
The coup and subsequent crackdowns have led to Western sanctions against the military and its lucrative businesses.
"A course against threats and pressure, including the use of sanctions against the current Myanmar authorities, is pointless and extremely dangerous," the Russian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying.
"Indeed, such a line helps to pit the sides against each other and ultimately drives the people of Myanmar to an all-out civil war."
The Kremlin has expressed concern about the rising number of civilian deaths in Myanmar. At least 564 people have died by security forces since the coup brought the military junta to power.
However, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister met with Major General of the junta Min Aung Hlaing in the capital, Naypyitaw, last month and was criticized by right-wing activists who accused Moscow of legitimizing the junta. (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by Angus MacSwan)
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