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Myanmar Junta Generals and Cronies Dominate Committee Formed to Import Russian Fuel


One of Yangon’s embattled petrol stations. / AFP

Amid serious fuel shortages, Myanmar’s regime has formed a committee to import fuel from Russia chaired by former lieutenant general Nyo Saw, chairman of the military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).

The committee tasked with purchasing, storing and distributing Russian fuel was formed on August 1.

Other members are deputy energy minister Thant Sin, permanent energy secretary Min Min and Tin Ye Win, director of the Commerce Ministry, with Shwe Maw, thedirector general of the Petroleum Regulatory Department, as the secretary and Maung Maung Kyaw, general manager of the MEC, as joint secretary.

Hla Win, CEO of the military-owned Star High Co, Hsan Naung, director of Brighter Energy, Win Swe, chairman of Best Oil Co, and Maung Maung Naing, CEO of Yetagon Energy Co, are also on the committee.

Maung Maung Naing fronts businesses owned by Aung Pyae Sone, the son of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. Brighter Energy is a subsidiary of the Kanbawza Group owned by Aung Ko Win, who has close ties to Min Aung Hlaing. Best Oil Co is a fuel wholesaler that also runs filling stations.

The committee will also supply fuel to the armed forces and the junta-controlled ministries and organizations.

Russia is a major arms supplier to Myanmar and is the only country that has opened its doors to Min Aung Hlaing since the 2021 coup.

In June sources told The Irrawaddy that Aung Pyae Sone, Shwe Byain Phyu Group owner Thein Win Zaw, Lucky Star Jade Company owner Aung Myint and other businessmen plan to form a venture to import Russian fuel. It is unknown if they have any connection to the new committee.