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West’s aim is to set India, China against each other — Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister drew attention to the fact that "NATO is now penetrating this part of the world by hook or by crook"

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russia promotes the establishment and development of a dialogue between China and India in the interests of resolving bilateral problems, while the West is out to set them against each other, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Great Game program on TV Channel One on Friday.

"We proceed from the fact that the more they (India and China - TASS) communicate, the more useful it is for everyone and the better for these two great powers, two great civilizations and the settlement of all their problems," he said. "In the meantime, the West takes a completely opposite position. It pursues directly opposite aims - to set India against China. Our Indian friends understand this very well. They have been telling us frankly that they see these attempts. They see the true aims that NATO is pursuing by declaring that its zone of responsibility spreads not only to the Euro-Atlantic, but the Indo-Pacific Region as well."

Lavrov drew attention to the fact that "NATO is now penetrating this part of the world by hook or by crook."

One of the tools for such penetration, he said, is the AUKUS bloc (the US, Australia and Britain). There are plans for expanding it by admitting Japan and South Korea. Attempts are being made to split the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Lavrov said, where the Americans have already "singled out" five countries that "will be more pliable to such calls."

Lavrov recalled the attempts of the United States and its allies to "isolate the issue of maritime security from the universal agenda of the East Asian summits, where it is necessary to negotiate with all players, and to make decisions within a group of select few, where there is neither China, nor Russia, nor a number of other countries."

About the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, or QUAD), which India joined along with Australia, the United States and Japan, he said that the Indian colleagues, when discussing this topic, invariably said that they had agreed to participate in QUAD "exclusively for the implementation of economic projects."

"All these moves are accompanied - and the United States does not make a secret of this - by attempts to persuade India to join anti-Russian sanctions and not to provide Russia with any opportunity to use Indian resources and Indian logistics to bypass Western sanctions, but India does not agree to this," Lavrov stressed.