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Russia: US Military Presence in ASEAN Region May Cause Clashes.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that US Military build-up in the South China Sea could lead to the military solution of territorial disputes in the ASEAN region.

"The build-up of the US military aircraft and naval presence in this region can objectively clearly, if not intentionally, provoke military dimension of these territorial disputes. I think that these are very risky games. The United States is already looking not only at North Korea, although it justifies its military presence by the North Korean issue, but also at the South China Sea, where China is holding negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries on the settlement of disputed territorial issues," Lavrov told the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

In his interview, Lavrov noted that Iran is not the only country, which is expanding a ballistic missiles program.

"There are other countries in the region with such programs. We must look at it as a whole. It is hardly justified to mix nuclear affairs with human rights and put the issue on the agenda that Iran should stop taking certain steps in the region- to my mind, a frankly discriminatory, biased and unjustifiably captious approach can be seen behind these US actions," Lavrov said.

"In general, the US missile defense items are deployed on the territory of South Korea and Japan under the pretext of the North Korean nuclear issue. Together with the European section of the US global anti-missile system, which can be clearly seen on the maps, this entire system astonishingly, by chance or not, is almost surrounding Russia along its perimeter. And now it is at the same time targeting China," Lavrov added.

It is in our interest not to give the handle for the strengthening of such trends, which requires sitting at the negotiating table, the Russian diplomat noted.

The US sanctions against the Russian defense industry represent unfair and corrupt competition, Lavrov stressed, characterizing such US actions as "rough pushing out of the market, notably with the use of blackmailing and ultimatums."

"For example, the sanctions against our defense industry are clearly unfair and corrupt competition, because simultaneously with [introducing] these sanctions, the United States is 'rushing' around the world asking its ambassadors in the Latin American, Asian, African countries to refuse to purchase our military equipment and weapons, explaining that the US authorities would compensate the lack of the relevant equipment in this or that country," Lavrov stated.

"We cannot prohibit the United States from supplying anything to anywhere, but we will certainly draw conclusions. The fact that representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk, who have the opportunity to stand up for themselves, are closely watching this, is also an objective fact. I think that this should also be taken into account," Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, Washington is trying to involve is similar affairs such states as Poland and the Baltics, which have used to show anti-Russian sentiments, however, "solid" European countries are against such weapons supplies to the Ukrainian authorities.

"Europe is not silent, however, its objections are quiet and nonpublic- According to our data, big solid European states are perfectly aware of the danger, that such actions may cause, and they are trying to bring neighbors to their senses, because the Americans, together with the Canadians, have already started to engage in these supplies. And this is regrettable," the Minister stressed.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:0PACI
Date:Feb 12, 2018
Words:576
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