DUSHANBE, July 28. /TASS/. Washington is forcing NATO-like structures down the throats of Southeast Asian countries, and long-term hotbeds of tension are emerging in the area of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) responsibility, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.
"Long-term hotbeds of tension with hard-to-predict scenarios are being created around SCO member states. The typical methods of achieving such goals are through aggressive economic pressure, all sorts of possible sanctions, inciting conflicts, and conducting campaigns to misinform the public. Instability is manifesting itself most acutely in Southeast Asia," Shoigu said at a meeting of the SCO’s defense chiefs.
As the Russian defense minister said, "Washington is forcing the region’s countries to create structures similar to NATO."
"Forward high-alert groups are being created, while the forces and capabilities of non-regional states join drills ever more frequently, which increases the risk of incidents during the course of military activity. A ballistic missile defense system is being deployed on a large scale and is being linked with strike weapons," Shoigu noted.
The Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly stated that the US missile shield plays a destabilizing role and is directed against Russia and China, the top official noted.
"The situation is further aggravated by the fact that this class of armaments may also be deployed in Asia in the wake of the dismantled Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty," Russia’s defense chief said.