Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu accused the West of seeking to expand the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine to the Asia-Pacific region, in a speech at a defense forum in Beijing on Monday.
Shoigu said that NATO countries were pursuing an arms race and increasing their military presence and activities in the region, under the pretext of dialogue and cooperation. He said that the U.S. forces were planning to use information exchanges with Japan and South Korea on missile launches to deter Russia and China.
“The West wants to expand the conflict in Ukraine to the Asia-Pacific region,” Shoigu said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. He added that the West was trying to “contain” Russia and China, and undermine their strategic partnership.
Shoigu also said that Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) did not mean the end of the agreement and that Russia was not lowering its threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. He said Russia was ready to resume its participation in the treaty if the U.S. ratified it.
Shoigu was speaking at the Xiangshan Forum, China’s biggest military diplomacy event, attended by defense officials and experts from more than 40 countries. The forum is a platform for China to showcase its military achievements and promote its security vision.