LAVROV SAYS JAPAN PROMISED RUSSIA TO ADDRESS CONCERNS OVER ITS MILITARY ALLIANCE WITH US

NASHIR MANSOR

NAGOYA (Japan), Nov 23 (Bernama) -- Tokyo has promised to address Russia's security-related concerns associated with the development of Japan's military and political alliance with the United States (US) amid the latter's statements that it saw Russia as one of key national security threats, Sputnik news agency reported, quoting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday.

During a press conference on the results of the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting in Japan's Nagoya, Lavrov said the United States has repeatedly made statements on its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles to Asia Pacific countries in the wake of the US-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) collapse. However, Japan and South Korea have told Russia they were not aware of such plans, according to Lavrov.

"We have handed over a list of our specific security-related concerns over the existence and constant development and reinforcement of the US-Japan military and political alliance to Japanese colleagues through our diplomatic channels and via our Security Council. Japanese partners promised to address these concerns, and we will wait for their response and continue discussions," Lavrov told reporters.

"The United States does not hesitate to publicly reaffirm that it sees Russia and China as main threats and that all of its military alliances with Japan, Australia and South Korea will take into account these threats and challenges. During a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister, we drew attention (of the Japanese side) to the fact that this (US statements) differ from the assurances made by the Japanese side that the Japan-US alliance does not target Russia," Lavrov added.

The foreign minister noted that these issues would be high on the agenda of the forthcoming visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to Russia in December.

-- BERNAMA