‘A leader of the world’: south-east Asian countries open to Putin pivot

Source: theguardian.com theguardian.com

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The head of Myanmar’s military junta beamed with joy as he shook hands with Vladimir Putin this week. “We would call you not just the leader of Russia but a leader of the world because you control and organise stability around the whole world,” Min Aung Hlaing said. His remarks came as Putin claimed in a defiant speech that European efforts to isolate Russia would fail: instead, he would pivot to Asia. Myanmar’s military, which has also faced a series of sanctions by western countries in the aftermath of last year’s coup, has been especially receptive to such offers of...