MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A military pact signed last week by the United States and Papua New Guinea will provide Washington with a foothold in the South Pacific and allow it to continue militarizing the Asia-Pacific region, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The deal was signed by PNG Prime Minister James Marape and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who came to the Pacific island nation’s capital, Port Moresby, as a stand-in for President Joe Biden after he canceled his planned trip over the debt-ceiling crisis.
“The existence of this pact … can only be interpreted as another step forward toward militarizing the Asia-Pacific region, escalating military tensions and dragging Port Moresby into Washington’s geopolitical games aimed against Russia and China,” Maria Zakharova said.
The PNG government issued a statement ahead of the signing ceremony seeking to address concerns at home about its shift away from neutrality, as the US has made no secret of its plans to counter China’s growing influence in the region. The US Department of State said the pact would form a foundation around which the two countries would enhance their security cooperation.
“Despite official claims that the PNG territory will not be used as a launchpad for wars, the contents of the agreement provide evidence to the contrary. Washington’s ultimate goal is clearly of a neo-colonial nature. It is to turn the largest South Pacific island nation into an outpost for projecting its military power in the Asia-Pacific region,” Zakharova said.
Australia and PNG also announced their intention to sign a security treaty in January.