Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Military hardware from Belarus in offing: report

Military hardware from Belarus in offing: report

Military hardware from Belarus in offing: report

Following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s trip to Belarus earlier this year, the country dubbed Europe’s last dictatorship is set to provide military equipment to Cambodia, according to media reports.

The premier set off on a trip to the East European country for an official three-day visit in April, during which he met with President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich, and witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral agreements.

On Tuesday, the Belarusian House of Representatives ratified these agreements, including one on “Military Technical Cooperation”, according to a report on state media site The Belarusian Telegraph Agency.

“The document on military and technical cooperation will promote the supplies of Belarusian military products to Cambodia,” the report says.

Officials at the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached yesterday to confirm the report. But rights activists said they were not surprised.

“The old saying that ‘birds of a similar feather flock together’ explains a lot” about the deal, Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, said by email.

“The whole deal is completely dubious from a human rights perspective and should have never happened.”

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay had not heard about the accord, but believed the government was trying to better equip its military.

“When we have a problem with Thailand, the army is poorly equipped … [so] maybe the government was asking everyone, ‘Who can help?’” he said.

Chhay added that it was possible that a lot of the Kingdom’s military equipment comes “from communist countries and countries that have a high record of rights violations”.

“We have to look into this in detail,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at