Myanmar's Junta Leader Takes aim at 'Some Countries' who 'Interfere' in 'Internal Affairs'

Myanmar's junta leader has rejected criticism from other countries that "want to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states on the pretext of democracy and human rights," the Associated Press reported.

Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing rejected the international criticism, saying that "some countries are constantly trying to influence other political systems and ideologies in a variety of ways."

He said their ultimate goal was for political stability. "The previous government mocked democracy by rigging the election. Due to the dishonesty of the NLD government, our current government has taken steps to restore integrity to democracy."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Moscow Conference Min Aung Hlaing
Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends the IX Moscow conference on International Security in Moscow on June 23, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Getty Images

The military in Myanmar ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, claiming her party's landslide victory in an election last November was due to massive voter fraud. It has not produced credible evidence to back its claim.

Myanmar's security forces have brutally suppressed widespread popular protests against the military takeover, killing hundreds of protesters and carrying out waves of arrests.

The junta's leader, Min Aung Hlaing, claimed in Wednesday's speech that it was trying to consolidate a democratic system in the country that has "degraded."

On Tuesday, Min Aung Hlaing met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who hailed the strong military cooperation between the countries.

"We pay special attention to this meeting as we see Myanmar as a time-tested strategic partner and a reliable ally in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region," Shoigu said.

He added that "cooperation in the military and military-technical field is an important part of relations between Russia and Myanmar" and praised Min Aung Hlaing for strengthening the country's military.

Shoigu said Russia would work to expand ties with Myanmar based on "mutual understanding, respect and trust."

Sergei Shoigu with Myanmar's Junta Leader
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing walk past the honor guard prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Vadim Savitskiy/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/Associated Press