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Russia says likely to strengthen defense amid Japan hostility

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. File Photo

Moscow, Russia | Xinhua | Russia said on Wednesday that it is closely monitoring hostile activities of Japan and reserves the right to strengthen its defense capability in response.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova made the remarks in a statement commenting on Japan’s so-called protest against the joint strategic air patrol by Chinese and Russian air forces on Tuesday.

Cooperation between the Russian and Chinese militaries is an important part of the bilateral ties, and the regular joint air patrols have demonstrated the high level of mutual trust and interaction between the two armed forces, she said.

These patrols were held in strict accordance with the norms of international law and fully met the objectives of strengthening peace, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world as a whole, she added.

Zakharova criticized Tokyo for clinging to these already traditional training events, distorting their goals and content, and wrongly linking them with Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

The diplomat dismissed Japan’s so-called protest as “groundless and absurd.”

Zakharova stressed that the Japanese government is accelerating the build-up of military-political cooperation with the United States and non-regional outsiders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and conducting joint military exercises of unprecedented scale near the Russian borders.

Japan is seeking to connect to the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) trilateral security partnership, studying the prospects for deploying U.S. medium- and shorter-range missiles on its territory, and taking other provocative actions that pose a serious challenge and potential threat to Russia’s security in the Far East, she added.

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Xinhua

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