MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. The trilateral partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) affects the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime, provokes tension and creates pre-requisites for a new spiral of the arms race, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a video address to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
"The contradictory idea by Australia, Great Britain and the US to create the AUKUS exclusive pact causes our questions. It is obvious that AUKUS is adversely affecting the nuclear non-proliferation regime, provoking tension and creating pre-requisites for unleashing a new spiral of the arms race and, what is more, not only in the Asia-Pacific region," Russia’s top diplomat pointed out.
On September 15, 2021, Australia, the UK and the US announced the creation of a new trilateral security partnership called AUKUS, under which Australia was to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with the help of US technologies with the first of them expected to enter service in 2036.
Malaysia and Indonesia as the largest states in Southeast Asia criticized these plans, highlighting that they would continue joint efforts to preserve the region’s non-nuclear status. Kuala Lumpur also said that Australia would be required to request special permission for its submarines to call at local ports or participate in maneuvers in the areas adjacent to territorial waters.