‘We should not confuse int’l order with American one’: Russian defense minister to US counterpart

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (L) and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu © Reuters
The US is confusing international order with an “American” one, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, questioning Washington’s policies. It comes in response to Ash Carter’s accusations that Moscow wants to erode the principles of international order.

In the statement, Shoigu noted that numerous US-led interventions have actually contributed to the security challenges that the international community is currently facing.

“It is the United States, alongside their Western partners, who have been consistently destroying the basic foundations of the existing world, starting with Bosnia, Kosovo to Iraq and Libya”.

Shoigu’s statement comes in response to the comments made by US counterpart Ash Carter, who accused Russia of aiming to change the world order. Speaking to students at Oxford University on Wednesday, Carter did not mince his words, saying that Moscow pursues a “clear ambition to erode the principled international order.” 

While acknowledging that Washington “does not seek an enemy in Russia,” he, among others, accused Moscow of “nuclear-saber-rattling” and territorial violations.

Addressing Carter’s comments, Shoigu said that Russia had warned what the outcome would be of the US-led NATO bombardment of the former Yugoslavia in 1999.

Shoigu said, “since then we only see that every time [the US] is stepping on the same rake in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, other countries,” and that the Pentagon, “instead of drawing lessons,” simply continues with its practices.

“Maybe it is time for the Pentagon to change something in that ‘strategy’? In order not justify in front of every microphone its failures by blaming everything on Russia, China and other countries with an independent outlook”.

Shoigu concluded that “maintaining international order” is a task for the whole international community and “not only of the Pentagon.” According to him this view remains a guiding principle for the Russian government.

“The sooner our US colleagues will realize that and start changing”, the sooner it will help resolve the existing problems, including Syria and elsewhere.