Bloc led by Russia and China criticises U.S. over missile defence


A security bloc led by China and Russia took a swipe at the United States on Friday, saying the development of unilateral missile defence systems would undermine global security.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which also includes four Central Asian states, did not name the United States in a statement issued at a summit in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

But Russia in particular has long been critical of Washington over its plans to build a global missile defence shield and Moscow sees the system as a security threat.
“The unilateral and unlimited capacity of individual states’ or groups of states’ missile defence systems will be detrimental to international security and strategic stability,” the statement said.

It said the members of the SCO believed “national security should not be achieved at the expense of the security of other states.”

The SCO groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Russia’s relationship with the United States is at its lowest point since the Cold War because of the Ukraine crisis. The SCO statement expressed support for a ceasefire reached by Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and urged them to build on it to secure a lasting settlement.