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Russia wants Central Asian countries not to hold joint military exercises with US


<br>This was reported by the Russian media on Tuesday as it revealed more details from the speech given by the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, at the meeting of the National Security Advisors of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Tashkent last Friday.

India was represented by Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) Vikram Misri at the crucial gathering of the security officials where the participants not only exchanged opinions on the further development of cooperation between the SCO member states in countering terrorism, separatism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking, and transnational organised crime but also prepared the ground for SCO Heads of State Council meeting in Samarkand next month.

Patrushev, in particular, highlighted the US Central Command-sponsored ‘Regional Cooperation 2022’ military exercise hosted by Tajikistan in Dushanbe between August 10-20 which also saw the participation of military personnel from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Pakistan.

“I would like to remind our partners that the Americans need such events primarily to study a potential theatre of operations, clarify the coordinates of promising targets and correct digital maps for high-precision weapons. I very much hope that all SCO member countries are now aware of the extremely high risks these American initiatives pose for our security,” state-owned Russian language publication Argumenty i Fakty quoted Patrushev as saying at the meeting.

Washington, on the other hand, has asserted that ‘Regional Cooperation’ is an annual exercise that focuses on enhancing multinational stability operations, counterterrorism, and promoting cooperation and joint combined capabilities among US, Central, and South Asia states, and other participating nations.

The exercise, it said, is designed to enhance regional security and stability besides increasing national capabilities and commitment to interdict weapons of mass destruction, terrorist elements, and narcotics.

Addressing the attendees earlier this month, John Mark Pommersheim, the US Ambassador to Tajikistan, stated that the training provided during RC 22 promotes cooperation and interoperability, builds functional capacity, supports stability operations, and enhances responsiveness between multinational organisations.

“As the largest US military-to-military exercise involving Central and South Asian nations, Regional Cooperation 22 is an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen relationships with our partners in that region. The exercise serves as a forum for addressing relevant regional issues including peaceful responses to global challenges, information exchange, and security cooperation,” said Pommersheim.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)


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