Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu accused the West on Monday of wanting to expand the conflict in Ukraine to the Asia-Pacific region, Russian state media reported.
Speaking at the Xiangshan Forum, China’s biggest military diplomacy conference, Shoigu said the U.S.-led NATO alliance was “covering up the buildup of military force in the Asia-Pacific region with an ostentatious desire for dialogue, imposing alliances and lines of operational interaction on partners,” the TASS agency reported.
“Having provoked an acute crisis in Europe, the West is seeking to spread conflict potential to the Asia-Pacific region, and in several directions.”
Not only were NATO countries driving an Asian arms race, but the emergence of security blocs such as the Quad and AUKUS was also undermining the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and nuclear non-proliferation efforts in Asia, Shoigu said.
“The concept of ‘indivisibility of security of the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific region’ imposed by Westerners is intended to justify the emergence of alliance forces and infrastructure in Asia,” Shoigu said.
The Quad groups the U.S., Australia, India and Japan and says it aims to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
AUKUS brings together Australia, the United States and Britain, and provides for the sale of U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and the sharing of nuclear-propulsion technology with Australia, as well as joint development of high-tech weaponry.