MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. The US needs military exercises in Central Asia in which a number of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are also participating in order to study the theater of military operations and to fine-tune its goals and maps, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolay Patrushev said.
The previously unpublished fragments of his address at the August 19 meeting of SCO security secretaries in Tashkent were revealed on Tuesday by the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper with the Russian Security Council confirming the authenticity of the quotes to TASS. The official was talking about the US Central Command-sponsored Regional Cooperation 2022 exercise with the participation of the militaries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Pakistan which began in Tajikistan on August 10.
"I would like to reiterate to our partners that, above all, the Americans need such events in order to study the potential theater of military operations, specify the positions of potential targets and adjust digital maps for high-precision weapons," the Russian top security official said. "I really hope that all the SCO member states by now realize the extremely high risks that these American initiatives present for our security," he added.
Patrushev noted that Washington continues attempts to persuade Afghanistan’s neighboring states to create a supposedly temporary infrastructure for counterterrorist operations there and this is precisely how Moscow views the Regional Cooperation 2022 drills.
Currently, the SCO includes India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Observer states are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia while Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are partner states. The organization’s summit is scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand in mid-September. It is expected that there the accession of Iran to the organization will be concluded while Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will receive partner status. Belarus’ application to join the SCO as a full-fledged member is also being reviewed.