Russia warns US against 'provocative' moves toward China: Lavrov
On the sidelines of the SCO ministerial meeting, the top Russian diplomat announces that the Organization leaders will meet to discuss ways to increase settlements in national currencies.
After meeting with foreign ministers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, on Friday, that Moscow hopes for no provocations against Beijing on the Taiwan issue, urging the US to remain committed to the One China policy.
Beijing's Foreign Ministry has reiterated on numerous occasions that the one-China principle was a political foundation of US-Sino relations, explaining that the US violated its own obligations and has been jeopardizing bilateral cooperation, as well as peace and stability in the region.
Earlier this month, media reported that Pelosi was planning a trip to Taiwan in August, prompting a harsh response from Beijing.
Lavrov added, “For us, this question is absolutely clear. Our position on the existence of only one China remains unchanged. The US periodically reiterates this position in words, but in practice, as you know, deeds do not always match words. We have no problem with asserting the principle of China's sovereignty, and we assume that no irritants, no provocations that might aggravate this situation will be undertaken.”
US President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping held their fifth phone call, on Thursday, speaking for more than two hours, as concerns mounted over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan.
During the long phone call, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told US President Joe Biden that “the United States should abide by the 'one China' principle with regard to Taiwan and ensure that its actions are consistent with its words," as per the Chinese state media.
The Chinese President added that "those who play with fire will only get burnt," expressing hope that the US side can see this clearly.
On his part, President Joe Biden told China's Xi Jinping that the US policy on Taiwan remains unchanged and that Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, according to a statement by the White House.
The end of US Dollar?
Elsewhere in his remarks, the top Russian diplomat announced that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) leaders will meet to discuss ways to increase settlements in national currencies.
"Today we agreed to submit a proposal for specific actions for the transition to settlements in national currencies for consideration by the leaders," Lavrov told reporters.
"Each SCO country should decide for itself how at ease it is when relying on the dollar, given that it is an utterly unreliable currency," he added.
Russia has been promoting the establishment of an independent and efficient financial system based on the use of national currencies in transactions following draconian sanctions by the West against it.
No phone call with Blinken today
Lavrov also stressed that “Moscow and Washington are now coordinating the time of a contact conversation with US State Secretary Antony Blinken."
The phone call between Blinken and Lavrov is sought by the US as the State Department Spokesperson Ned Price confirmed yesterday.
However, Lavrov noted that the talks are unlikely to happen today.
He stated that his Ministry had inquired about the topics that Blinken wished to discuss during their phone conversations. The Russian diplomat stated that he wanted to discuss Russia's grain deal with Ukraine.
Furthermore, Lavrov accused the US of using sanctions to restrict Russian maritime exports, disrupt global financial flows, and raise Russia's transportation insurance costs.
"The UN secretary general promised to deal with these problems that stand in the way of ending the global economic crisis, as they call it. We shall see," Lavrov concluded.
What is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an economic, political, and security alliance founded in 2001 and currently has nine members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan. They collectively account for 40% of the world's population and 28% of its GDP (GDP). Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia are among the observer countries.
The SCO summit in Dushanbe last September began the procedure of Iran's accession, as well as granting SCO partner status to Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
The SCO's geographical responsibility will expand with Iran's entry and will pave the way for new cross-regional initiatives.