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Russia’s Lavrov accuses Washington of playing with fire around Taiwan

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UNITED NATIONS: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of “playing with fire” around Taiwan on Saturday (Sep 24) in a speech sharply critical of Washington at the annual gathering at the United Nations.

The United States was now trying to “subjugate” Asian areas, Lavrov said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, criticising Washington’s formation of “closed format” country groupings in the Indo-Pacific.

“They’re playing with fire around Taiwan. On top of that, they’re promising military support to Taiwan,” Lavrov said.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan have soared after a visit there in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi which was followed by large-scale Chinese military drills, as well as a pledge by US President Joe Biden to defend the democratically governed island.

Putin explicitly backed China over Taiwan.

“We intend to firmly adhere to the principle of ‘One China’,” Putin said last week. “We condemn provocations by the United States and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

Lavrov also accused Washington of trying to “turn the entire world into its own backyard” through sanctions. “It’s pure, unadulterated dictatorship, or an attempt to impose it.”

The United States and its Western allies have imposed a barrage of sanctions on Moscow following its February invasion of Ukraine.

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