Western leaders want to militarize Southeast Asia – POLITICO

Western leaders want to militarize Southeast Asia – POLITICO
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday accused Western leaders of seeking to militarize Southeast Asia to contain Moscow and Beijing’s interests in the region.

“The United States and its NATO allies are trying to master this space,” Lavrov told reporters in Cambodia.

He was speaking at a press conference at the end of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh and ahead of the G20 summit in Bali later this week.

Lavrov is representing Moscow at the G20 meeting in Indonesia after the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was too busy to attend.

Lavrov said the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy, which President Joe Biden was championing at the ASEAN summit, ignores “inclusive structures” of regional cooperation and will lead to “the militarization of this region with an obvious emphasis on controlling China and controlling Russian interests”. in Asia-Pacific,” Reuters reported.

On Saturday, Biden pledged at the ASEAN summit to help fight China’s growing dominance in the region, saying, “We will build an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, stable and prosperous, resilient and secure. “

Russia has been seeking closer ties to Asia since Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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