Russia is seeking new customers for its energy in the region as its biggest export destination, Europe, will impose an embargo on Russian oil in phases later this year.
“We have received permission to import petrol from Russia,” military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said during a news conference on Wednesday, adding that it was favored for its “quality and low cost.”
Myanmar would consider joint oil exploration in Myanmar with Russia and China, he said.
The military has set up a Russian Oil Purchasing Committee headed by a close ally of Min Aung Hlaing to oversee the buying, importing, and transport of fuel at reasonable prices based on Myanmar’s needs, according to a statement published in a state newspaper on Wednesday.
In addition to political turmoil and civil unrest, Myanmar has been hit hard by high fuel prices and power cuts, prompting its military leadership to turn to imports of fuel oil that can be used in power plants.
Petrol prices have surged about 350% since the coup in February last year to 2,300-2,700 kyat (about $1) per litre.
In the past week, petrol stations have shut down in various parts of the country because of shortages, according to media reports.
Russia is also a major supplier of weapons to the Myanmar military.