Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Wednesday accused the US of creating trouble spots around the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries.

Washington has been using economic pressure, sanctions, provoking conflicts, and conducting disinformation campaigns to destabilize the situation, and creating long-term tensions around the SCO, Shoygu said at a meeting of the SCO defense ministers in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital.

The instability is most acute in Southeast Asia, where the US is imposing the establishment of structures similar to NATO, he told the meeting.

“Advanced high-readiness groups are being formed, and the forces and means of non-regional states are increasingly being involved in the (military) exercises, which increases the risk of incidents during military activities. Large-scale deployment of the anti-missile defense system and its interface with strike means is being carried out,” Shoygu alleged.

The situation is aggravated by the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which allows the US deployment of this class of missiles in Asia, the minister added.

‘US, NATO mission in Afghanistan failed’

The hasty withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan provoked an additional sharp jump in military and political tension and a surge in hostilities, Shoygu said.

“But the Americans are more concerned about the possibility of creating new transit routes and logistics structures in the Central Asian states, (and) the deployment of their military bases and facilities. We believe that this will not lead to anything good, but only to a long-term presence of the Alliance in the region and additional instability,” he said, urging the SCO states to hold constant consultations to prevent the overflow of destabilizing processes on their territories.

The conflict escalation in Afghanistan shows that the US-Taliban agreement is not being implemented, Shoygu said, noting that the situation on the northern borders of Afghanistan is deteriorating and Afghans are migrating to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

He asserted that the Afghan government has lost control of the situation, while the Taliban have captured most of Afghanistan’s territory.

“This has increased the threat of terrorists crossing into neighboring countries. Therefore, we have to point out that the mission of the US and NATO in Afghanistan has failed,” he commented.

The minister also welcomed any international initiatives that will contribute to the solution to the Afghanistan issue.

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