China, Russia: No to Burma Sanctions

Oct 25, 2007 (AP), China and Russia urged Burma’s military rulers to talk with the country’s opposition but said Wednesday that they opposed any UN sanctions against the junta.

The two veto-wielding countries on the UN Security Council say Myanmar’s crushing of pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks was an internal issue, a position that has prevented discussions of sanctions.

Foreign ministers Yang Jiechi of China and Sergey Lavrov of Russia said at a meeting with India’s Pranab Mukherjee that, instead of punishment, they support efforts by UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to open talks between the opposition and the ruling generals.

"The initiatives [Gambari] has taken, he should be encouraged," Mukherjee told reporters. "There should not be any sanctions at this stage."

Lavrov warned that sanctions, threats or other forms of pressure on the junta risked "aggravating the situation and generating a new crisis."

Yang echoed that, saying: "We hope that countries concerned will play a helping role instead of applying sanctions and applying pressure."

Meanwhile, activists wearing white prison garb and masks held small protests in cities around the world to mark pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s 12 years in detention in Burma.

"I’m very angry, governments around the world know that people in Burma suffer

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