Russia Uses AUKUS Spat To Highlight "Shock" Of Disunity For NATO

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021 - 11:00 PM

Russia is now weighing in on the AUKUS agreement unveiled last week and which has enraged France given it effectively got cut out of its prior $66 billion deal to deliver submarines to Australia, and instead now Washington will give Canberra nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.

The Russian Foreign Ministry highlighted NATO disunity and "shock" within the alliance after EU leadership said the bloc was caught completely off-guard, only learning about the pact when it hit the media. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out on Wednesday, "It came as a total surprise and a shock for NATO."

She continued: "It came as an absolute surprise not for those whom the US, Australia and the UK call their opponents and whom they are collaborating against, but for their allies and the military and political blocs that the US and the UK are part of," as cited in TASS.

"The developments that are unfolding around Australia, a seemingly a faraway land, what is happening there is not just interesting - though it is interesting indeed - but it also requires special attention from the political analyst community, including experts on international relations and military and strategic issues," the Russian diplomat added.

Reading between the lines, she appears to be suggesting a fragile or greatly weakened NATO alliance, given the major inter-NATO spat was unleashed by dealings in "a seemingly faraway land" - as Zakharova put it.

After all, it led to France recalling its ambassador to Washington for what's believed to be the first time in history (a move done also with the ambassador to Australia). Tensions are also running high between France and the UK over what Paris charged as 'backroom dealing' and "duplicity, disdain and lies".

China has been especially angered at the potential for a large US ally operating nuclear subs in its Indo-Pacific backyard. No doubt Moscow is unhappy too that Australia will join the small number of nations that possess them, which currently includes only the US, UK, France, China, India as well as Russia. The US will now transfer technology and help allowing Australia to construct at least eight nuclear powered submarines.

But with the diplomatic fighting still unfolding between Europe on one side, and the UK and US on the other over the AUKUS, likely at the Kremlin they're currently content to kick back and grab the popcorn.