Russia shares China’s, ASEAN’s concerns about AUKUS, foreign ministry says

Russia shares the concerns expressed by China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) about the security pact between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS) viewed as a threat to regional security, Russian Representative in the UN General Assembly First Committee Andrey Belousov said.

“We share the concerns expressed by China at the First Committee. In addition, quite serious concerns were raised by ASEAN countries because they see in this trilateral technical partnership a threat to regional security,” Belousov said. “For example, Indonesia and Malaysia said the implementation of this initiative could lead to the arms race in the region.”
“Countries need more time and information about how the participants of this trilateral cooperation see the ways of its implementation. Only after receiving full information about it, we would be able to form any conclusions and questions regarding the impact of this initiative on security, nuclear non-proliferation regime and the commitments that the participants have under the frameworks of various international agreements,” he added.
On 15 September, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, together with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden, declared the formation of the new AUKUS defence and security partnership to protect the countries’ shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

The first initiative announced under the AUKUS defence pact was the creation of nuclear-powered submarine technology for the Royal Australian Navy, so the Australian government decided to abandon the $66 billion agreement with France's Naval Group company for the construction of diesel-electric submarines, prompting an angry reaction from France, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accusing Canberra of betraying the mutual trust between the countries.

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