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Russia: West seeking to militarise southeast Asia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the West is “militarising” southeast Asia
in a bid to contain Russian and Chinese interests, setting the
stage for a confrontation between Russia and Western leaders at
the G20 summit in Bali.

Speaking during a press conference on Sunday at the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, Lavrov scolded the United States over its actions in the region, which both Russia and the West see as a potential strategic geopolitical battleground in the coming decades.

“The United States and its NATO allies are trying to master this space,” Lavrov told reporters.

He said Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy was an attempt to bypass “inclusive structures” for regional co-operation and would involve “the militarisation of this region with an obvious focus on containing China and containing Russian interests in the Asia-Pacific.”

Biden told southeast Asian leaders that Washington was committed to building an “Indo Pacific that’s free and open, stable and prosperous, and resilient and secure” as he outlined a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the United States and the region.

Why China and Russia are partnering up

Ukraine to dominate G20 agenda

Neither the United States nor Russia is a member of ASEAN, a 10-member group of southeast Asian countries, but several world leaders attended the talks ahead of next week’s G20 summit in Bali.

Russia has sought to foster much closer economic, political and security ties with Asia since the West hit Moscow with unprecedented sanctions in response to its offensive in Ukraine.

Putin portrays Russia and China as the leaders of a global rebellion against the post-Soviet global dominance of the United States and the West. The United States casts China and Russia as the two main global threats.

Lavrov will head Russia’s delegation to the G20 summit – the
first such meeting since Moscow began its offensive in Ukraine in February –
after the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin was too busy to

Ukraine is set to dominate the agenda with Western leaders
likely to publicly confront Russia over its actions in Ukraine
and push the likes of China and India – which have both
previously expressed concerns over the conflict – to criticise

China will keep backing Russia on ‘sovereignty, security’, Xi tells Putin

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