A military personnel member walks past a picture of a Sukhoi jet fighter during the Indo Defence Expo in Jakarta, Indonesia, on November 2, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Beawiharta

Moscow will not pay attention to concerns from Washington regarding the humanitarian implications of a sale of fighter jets to Myanmar, the Kremlin said on Friday.

“Russia has invariably observed the norms, rules and principles of international law [in the field of military-technical cooperation] and it will continue doing so in the future,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying.

“It goes without saying that for this reason we cannot pay attention to such accusations” by the United States over supplies of fighter jets to Myanmar.”

After the announcement last week that Russia would provide six Sukhoi-30 jets to Myanmar, US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert told TASS that Russia should display solidarity with other countries and provide humanitarian assistance to Myanmar. Weapons supplies to the country, she said, might aggravate the situation there.

The deal comes as Myanmar’s military has shifted in recent years from a focus on ground warfare to aerial bombardments as part of its efforts to combat ethnic insurgent groups, particularly in Kachin state in the country’s north.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Fomin said the Sukhoi jets “will become the main combat plane of Myanmar’s air force crucial for protecting the country’s territorial integrity and for countering terrorist threats.”

“To see a connection between this aim and the threat of ‘even greater suffering’ of the civilian population can only be the very ‘rich’ imagination of our colleagues from the State Department,” the Russian Foreign Ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement on Friday.

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