Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev described the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States as another military bloc directed against Russia and China, also emphasizing that this “venture” puts the entire Asian security architecture at risk.
In his interview with Russia’s Argumenty i Fakty newspaper, Patrushev described the QUAD alliance, comprised of the US, India, Australia and Japan, as a “prototype of an Asian NATO.”
“Washington will try to involve other countries in this organization, chiefly in order to pursue anti-China and anti-Russia policies,” Patrushev said.
“A short while ago, a new military bloc was formed in the region, the US-UK-Australian AUKUS, which pursues the same goals. Remarkably, the Americans squeezed their French partners out, grabbing a profitable deal for the construction of nuclear submarines for Canberra. Apparently, Atlantic solidarity has a price,” Patrushev added.
“For the sake of translating another White House’s venture into action, for the sake of strengthening control over the promising Asia-Pacific region, the entire security architecture in Asia is exposed to danger and prerequisites are being created to damage the prestige of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other regional associations,” the Russian security council chief concluded.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with his Australian counterpart, Marise Payne, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and expressed regret that the new Australian-UK-US partnership (AUKUS) excluded countries of the European Union, the EU foreign service said on Monday.
“High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Foreign Minister Payne discussed the recent announcement of a security partnership by the US, United Kingdom and Australia and the cancellation of the submarine contract with France.
He inquired about the lack of prior consultations and regretted that this partnership excludes European partners, who have a strong presence in the Pacific,” the statement reads.
The current security challenges in the region that is strategically important to many EU countries require more cooperation between “like-minded partners,” Borrell noted. He also said that the EU plans to hold internal consultations on the AUKUS issue.
Borrell and Payne agreed to maintain contact and further work towards “overcoming the challenges created by recent events.”
On September 15, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a defense partnership dubbed AUKUS, which allows Australia to acquire nuclear-propelled submarines from the two partners after unilaterally quitting a $66 billion submarine contract with France.
The move, which, tuned out, was not discussed with the French leadership, caused a rough patch in the Australia-France relationship and forced Paris to recall its ambassadors from the US and Australia. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described Australia’s withdrawal from the contract as a “stab in the back.”