By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Russia’s Defense Minister has denied the country has been isolated, listing Uganda and other nations among its allies.
“These constant loud statements about the isolation of Russia,” Sergei Shoigu said. “This is generally quite difficult to achieve, and, speaking of our country, it is almost impossible because it’s the largest nuclear power, the largest country in terms of area and territory.”
Suggestions that Russia’s war in Ukraine would affect the number of companies and delegations attending the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum in Moscow were unfounded, he said.
“I’ll tell you that friends remained friends,” Shoigu said. “They were not affected by this powerful pressure from all sides.”
Shoigu delivered the remarks at the conference attended by military officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which ended Sunday.
“It is very gratifying that prominent military leaders of our friendly states—Burundi, the Republic of Guinea, Cameroon, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and the Republic of South Africa—are present in this hall today,” Shoigu said.
“We appreciate your support and intend to increase cooperation on mutually beneficial projects.”
Shoigu also dismissed allegations that Russia could potentially use nuclear or chemical weapons in the conflict in Ukraine.
“From a military viewpoint, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve our goals,” Shoigu said. “The main mission of the Russian nuclear forces is providing a deterrent against a nuclear attack.”
At the opening of the conference on August 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia and its allies in Latin America, Asia and Africa have “historically firm, friendly and truly trustworthy relations.”
Putin said Russia continues to provide “cutting-edge weapons—from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery, combat aviation and drones,” according to an English translation.
Those weapons, he said, are “decades ahead of their foreign counterparts.”
“We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, combat systems based on new physical principles,” Putin said. “Many of them are years, perhaps even decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and significantly superior in terms of tactical and technical characteristics.”
He also accused the U.S. of trying to encourage extended hostilities in Ukraine.
“They need conflicts to retain their hegemony,” Putin said. “That’s why they have turned the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder. The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is trying to drag the conflict out, and it acts in exactly the same way trying to fuel conflicts in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”