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    Russia's Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoly Antonov

    US Pushed Ukraine to Edge of Civil War: Russian Defense Ministry

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    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Ivanov stated that the United States has been actively pursuing its agenda in former Soviet Union.

    COLOMBO, November 27 (Sputnik) – Washington’s endorsement of protests and the February coup in Ukraine pushed the country to the verge of a civil war, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.

    Protesters clash with police in center of Kiev
    © Sputnik / Andrey Stenin
    “The latest example of it [pursuing US agenda in former Soviet republics] is pushing Ukraine to the edge by supporting the Maidan [protests] and the anti-constitutional coup,” Antonov said, speaking at a meeting of South and Southeast Asian defense chiefs in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    The deputy defense minister also added that the ongoing protests in Hong Kong very much resemble Maidan protests in Ukraine, warning of the danger of so-called color revolutions that are "destabilizing the situation in the one or the other region of the world."

    According to Antonov, such protests are organized by Western political strategists that are taking advantage of "socio-economic difficulties, the presence of various conflicts on ethnic and religious grounds."

    "Under the guise of spreading democracy they throw populist slogans into the fire of popular discontent, provoking mass protests," the deputy minister added.

    Protesters occupied Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, in Kiev on November 21, 2013, after Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers announced an about-turn in the signing of a European Union association agreement. The protests were actively supported by officials from the United States and European Union.

    These protests led to the violent conflict in Ukraine, that dramatically escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that refused to recognize the new government, which came to power as a result of a February coup.

    US Global Missile Shield Seriously Threatens Asia-Pacific Region, International Security

    The US global missile defense system has the goal of undermining regional and international security and is creating a serious threat to the Asia-Pacific Region, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.

    “In playing off the thesis of the growing North Korean nuclear missile threat, Washington is actively dragging the countries in the region into executing their plans of implementing their global missile shield,” Antonov said during a speech in Sri Lanka’s capital.

    Antonov said the creation of military potential by Washington “considerably exceeds the level needed to neutralize existing and potential missile threats.”

    “In actuality, the US global missile defense system is geared at undermining regional and international security and is a serious threat for the Asia-Pacific Region,” Antonov added.

    A Ground-Based Interceptor is shown shortly after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008
    © AP Photo / Missile Defense Agency, Joe Davila
    Earlier in November,  told Sputnik that the United States needs further investment in its missile defense capabilities as it lags behind Russia in deployed ballistic missile interceptors.

    Russia has repeatedly urged the international community to address the issue of the expansion of the global US anti-missile defense shield. As far as the expansion of the shield in Europe is concerned, Washington is planning to install an Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense system in Romania by 2015, and a similar system in Poland by 2018, according to the US Missile Defense Agency.

    Under NATO’s planned missile defense system, radars and interceptors will be placed in phases in several NATO countries, including Romania, Turkey, Spain and Poland. The defense shield is also bolstered by marine-based systems.

    Russia Concerned About Possible Instability Spillover From Asia-Pacific

    Russia's Defense Ministry is concerned about the instability in a number of countries in Asia-Pacific region and its possible spillover to Russia's Central Asian neighbors, the country's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday.

    "The instability in a number of the [Asian-Pacific] region's countries and the prospects of it spilling over to Russia's neighboring countries, and especially to Central Asia, raises concerns," Antonov said at a meeting of South and Southeast Asian defense chiefs in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    The Russian deputy defense minister noted that despite the fact that the Asia-Pacific region is relatively stable, the potential for conflict there remains significant.

    According to Antonov, territorial disputes, unsettled border claims and an increase in military confrontations are among the factors contributing to the region's instability. He added that international terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy and organized crime have found a breeding ground in the region.

    Another international security goal, according to Antonov, must be to strengthen the nuclear and biological weapons nonproliferation regime. "We call on everyone who has not done it yet to sign and/or ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty," the deputy defense minister said.


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