Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has accused the West of attempting to expand the Russia-Ukraine war to the Asia-Pacific region, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Oct. 30.
Speaking at the Xiangshan defense forum in Beijing, the minister claimed that NATO countries are increasing their military presence in Asia-Pacific under the cover of an "ostentatious desire for dialogue."
He has praised the relations between Russia and China as "exemplary," adding that Russia will continue to develop its military-technical cooperation with interested countries in the region through equipment supplies and joint exercises.
Shoigu also said that the West is seeking a "strategic defeat of Russia" via its support for Ukraine and that "the Western line of steady escalation of the conflict with Russia carries the threat of a direct military clash between nuclear powers," the Associated Press reported.
Commenting on Moscow's recent decision to withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the minister claimed Russia was not lowering its threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.
The move was only meant "to restore parity with the United States, which has not ratified this treaty," Shoigu said.