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AUKUS in the Indo-Pacific. Will the domino effect usher in a nuclear arms race?

The United States is preparing to “derail” the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to widen the road to develop nuclear projects within the framework of the AUKUS military bloc, especially they are trying to entice Japan. and Korea into the bloc.

Russian Foreign Minister 

Sergei Lavrov made this statement while speaking at the Moscow International Security Conference. Such risks appeared after the new military bloc of the US, UK and Australia (AUKUS) was formed in September 2021. At that time Australia suddenly canceled the contract to buy diesel submarines from France and announced its intention to create its own fleet of nuclear submarines. But preparing the infrastructure for self-production can take years, so Australia first expressed its intention to buy some nuclear submarines from the United States under the AUKUS agreement. About the potential risks from this agreement – in the document of Sputnik.Director of the Analytical Project of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications (APiEC) Mikhail Neizhmakov noted that the agreement could lead non-nuclear states with ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.

“In early August, on the sidelines of the meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in Vienna, representatives of Russia and China presented a joint report on the nuclear threats that Beijing and Moscow see in the AUKUS plan The report’s authors assert that the steps to building Australia’s nuclear submarine fleetwith the support of AUKUS partners “lowering the political and ethical barriers to the proliferation of nuclear weapons”. Here talk of the “domino effect” where increasing the defense potential of a country in the region, even if it does not possess its own nuclear weapons, can ultimately create impetus to open up nuclear arms race and make non-nuclear states have the ambition to own nuclear weapons,” – commented Mikhail Neizhmakov.

US nuclear weapons in Australia

The editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, noted that the concerns expressed by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov regarding the nuclear project within the framework of AUKUS could eventually lead to real The fact that the United States has deployed nuclear weapons in Australia.”The US has deployed nuclear warheads at their bases in five European countries. Under a similar scheme, nuclear warheads on submarines and surface ships could be deployed in Australia, because because Australia, like Japan, is the main US stronghold against China in the Pacific region, it is a tactical nuclear weapon, however, it is a potential risk factor. increasing the risk of nuclear war in the Pacific region,” Korotchenko said.

On August 15, US Secretary of State 

Antony Blinken , Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin held an online meeting to agree on details ahead of the US-Japan Summit. Han at Camp David resort, near Washington, on August 18. The tripartite meeting is expected to significantly expand cooperation in the field of defense and security. Washington believes that this will completely change the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region. Is there any chance that the Summit will announce Japan and Korea’s accession to AUKUS?

“The purpose of the upcoming meeting at Camp David has been stated very cautiously – to discuss joint initiatives in the defense sector. As you know, Tokyo and Seoul are actively communicating no Only with Washington but also with each other US-Japan cooperation , including in the military sphere, is widely known, but it is worth noting that London, an active member of AUKUS, also sought contact with Japanese side on defense matters.It is no coincidence that in March 2023, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallacehad a visit to Tokyo. Given this interaction, it is not excluded that in the near future Japan and Korea will announce their participation in this alliance. Although this does not have to happen at the Summit at Camp David,” – expressed Mikhail Neizhmakov.

“Of course, this will accelerate the arms race in the Asia-Pacific region . However, even now there are enough reasons for the development of this trend. In turn, any any arms race between blocs (organized or real), among which there are nuclear powers, stimulate their “nuclear muscle” increase, – Mr. Mikhail Neizhmakov said.

According to the editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, by all accounts, at this summit, AUKUS will not issue a statement on the admission of Japan and South Korea, because the accession process may be 

possible . lasted quite a while. But, the US is focusing its efforts to create a larger bloc in this region, to form a NATO-style alliance in Asia.”Japan’s National Security Strategy sees China as its “greatest strategic challenge”, and the United States strongly supports and even pushes Japan in this direction. And this, together with with Australia’s growing “militarization” activities, creating a dangerous situation in the region and around the world, which is a serious challenge not only for China, but also for Russia. especially from Japan, which participates in the sanctions campaign against Russia and is gradually increasing the level of confrontation with our country,” – said Igor Korotchenko.

Source : Sputnik