Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu hit out at the US and multilateral groupings like Quad, which India is part of, while putting his weight behind China at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ meeting here Friday.
Shoigu said that “in order to contain China, a front is forming”.
He alleged that the tension around the “so-called” Taiwan problem is purposely escalated, and that territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea are being heated.
“In our understanding, one of the major achievements in the Asia-Pacific region is bloc-free and equal interaction. And it must be preserved,” he said in his address.
Talking about what he termed as the “most pressing military-political problems”, he said Washington and its enablers are pursuing their strategic agenda of provoking other countries into military confrontation with undesirable states, most notably Russia and China.
“The conflict in Ukraine is a clear demonstration of this criminal policy. Its real aim is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, threaten China, and maintain its monopoly position in the world,” the Russian defence minister said.
He added that the SCO independent policies concerning regional and global security challenges could set an example for the international community.
The West’s countermeasures for developing multilateralism could be evidently observed in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, adding that the US paved the way to disintegration of the existing regional security system with the key role of ASEAN member-states.
“Military and political alliances, such as QUAD and AUKUS, initiated similar countermeasures. NATO is willing to establish dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, that is why QUAD and AUKUS are integrating into NATO,’ he said.
Shoigu added that the concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific region is now being promoted. “The concept implies the construction of the intergovernmental relations bloc system in which the Americans arrogate to themselves the power to determine the norms and rules of behaviour,” he said.
Talking about Ukraine, he said that the West has demonstrated its advance preparation for a confrontation with the Russian Federation.
Large-scale sanctions were immediately imposed on Russia, arms were supplied to Ukraine, intelligence transmitted, and military advisers and mercenaries sent to the combat zone in 2014.
“We have repeatedly stressed that arms deliveries to Kiev only prolong the conflict, cause more casualties and destruction of infrastructure, and finally boomerang back, affecting the stability of Europe and the world as a whole.
“The transferred weapons end up on the black market and go further into the hands of terrorist organisations, which poses additional risks.
“Russia has been left with no option but to eliminate the threats emanating from Ukraine militarily. Our objectives are clear, and they will be achieved within the special military operation,” Shoigu said.
Source : ThePrint