PHNOM PENH, NOVEMBER 13. /TASS/. The US and NATO are trying to absorb the Asia-Pacific region by militarizing it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Sunday following his participation in the East Asia Summit.
"The US and its allies, as well as NATO, are now trying to absorb this space (the Asia-Pacific region - TASS). Not so long ago, the concept of the Indo-Pacific Strategy was put forward. These concepts promote formats that are not open to all comers, that essentially compete with the inclusive structures created around ASEAN, and that involve the militarization of this region with an obvious focus on containing China, containing Russian interests in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
Lavrov pointed out that one of the concrete manifestations of the US and NATO policy of development and militarization of the Asia-Pacific region was the creation of the military bloc AUKUS (the United States, Australia, and the UK), which is now actively trying to lure New Zealand, Canada, and Japan to join it.
Lavrov noted that the Chinese side understood this very well. "And we together with them defend the expediency and the need to preserve the formats that have been created around ASEAN, we defend the need to respect and in the future the central role that ASEAN plays in the processes taking place in this region. But the West has its own plans, and that has been made quite clear today," he added, "They pay lip-service to the role of ASEAN, but in reality they are pushing their own agenda and promoting these confrontational mechanisms and tools.".