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Russia Defence Chief Accuses US of 'Fomenting Tension', Imposing NATO-Like Structures on SCO States

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankRussian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.07.2021
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Tajikistan on Wednesday for talks as the security situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorates in the wake of the withdrawal of US and coalition forces.
Russia's Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has slammed the US for “fueling long-term hotbeds of tension with hard-to-predict scenarios” in the area which should come under the remit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO).
Shoigu, who was attending a meeting in Tajikistan of defence ministers from SCO member states, also said that Washington was forcing the region’s countries to create “structures similar to NATO".
​He suggested that Washington’s typical methods of achieving such goals ranged from direct economic pressure and all manner of sanctions, to inciting conflicts, and conducting misinformation campaigns.
Shoigu emphasised that the fall-out from such actions was manifesting itself most acutely in south-east Asia.
He pointed to the creation of high-alert groups, with forces and capabilities of non-regional states joining drills ever more frequently, heightening the risk of incidents during the course of military activity.
“A ballistic missile defence system is being deployed on a large scale and is being linked with strike weapons," warned Shoigu, adding that the US missile shield plays a “destabilising role”.
Russia’s defence chief highlighted that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that this class of armaments might be deployed in Asia “in the wake of the dismantled Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty".
Shoigu also deplored the security situation unfolding at present in Afghanistan as US troops withdraw.
Weighing in on the volatile situation, he promised that troops from the 201st Military Base would provide Tajikistan - a member of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation, which includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia - with all necessary assistance should the country’s security be threatened.
Shoigu indicated that although the Russian military was closely monitoring the movements of Daesh (ISIS)* militants to Afghanistan from various other countries, the Kremlin continues to “hope very much” that Afghanistan’s warring parties will be able to reach some kind of reconciliation to prevent the situation from destabilising further.
* a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
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