AUKUS deal could ‘detonate’ Asia-Pacific – Russia
The AUKUS security pact between the US, Britain and Australia could “detonate” the Asia-Pacific region by introducing nuclear military drills, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has warned.
“The AUKUS union has the potential of becoming a military-political alliance. It can’t be ruled out that NATO’s joint nuclear planning and joint nuclear exercises would be brought to the region,” Shoigu said on Tuesday.
“The bringing of the practice of conducting nuclear exercises from Europe would detonate the region. Although, one can assume that this is the precise goal of the US.”
The pact allows for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the US and Britain. “The implementation of this plan will have a profound negative effect on global and regional security and create an environment for the undermining of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” Shoigu said.
Australia’s opposition leader and former defense minister, Peter Dutton, urged the government last week to acquire the submarines as soon as possible in the wake of renewed tensions between China and the US over Taiwan.
Established last year, AUKUS was promoted as an agreement to deepen defense ties between three English-speaking nations and enhance interoperability. In April, AUKUS leaders released a statement, affirming “their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Washington is not seeking to set up “an Asian NATO.”