Ukraine also reprimanded
Lavrov: The West wants to swallow the Asia-Pacific region
11/14/2022, 4:09 PM (updated)
At the ASEAN summit, Russia’s foreign minister repeatedly lashed out at NATO and the United States. They wanted to militarize the Asia-Pacific region to undermine Chinese and Russian interests. The fact that the Joint Final Declaration fails is due to unacceptable demands.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US and NATO of trying to gain dominance by militarizing the Asia-Pacific region. “The United States and its allies, as well as NATO, are now trying to swallow the region,” Lavrov said on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, according to Russian state news agency TASS. The goal is militarization of the region, “with a clear focus on limiting Chinese and Russian interests in the region,” he stressed in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
US President Joe Biden took a clear stand against China at the summit. According to the White House, he rejected China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The decision of the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which in 2016 dismissed China’s claims as unlawful, was “final and legally binding”. Freedom of navigation and overflights in the South and East China Seas away from Japan must be respected.
Globally, the United States wants to compete strongly with China, according to the White House. He also wanted to draw attention to human rights violations. At the same time, however, communication links must be maintained “to prevent competition from turning into conflict”.
Ukraine on “absolutely unacceptable language”
Lavrov said a joint final statement of the summit failed because of disputes over the wording of the situation in Ukraine. “No collective decision was taken today as the US and its Western allies insisted on absolutely unacceptable language about the situation in and around Ukraine.”
Lavrov travels from the ASEAN meeting to the Great Economic Powers (G20) summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. He is representing President Vladimir Putin there, who canceled his participation. On the other hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to address the meeting at the holiday resort of Nusa Dua via video. However, at the ASEAN meeting in Cambodia, ten member states could not agree on a video speech by Zelensky.
(This article was first published on Sunday, November 13, 2022.)
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