17 May 2022 14:03

Moscow exiting Council of Baltic Sea States - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) - Moscow is exiting the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The termination of membership in the CBSS will have no impact on the Russian presence in the region. The attempts at squeezing our country out of the Baltic Sea region are doomed to fail. We will keep working with responsible partners, holding events on key aspects of the development of the Baltic Sea region - our common heritage, and protecting the interests of compatriots," the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The current situation in the CBSS rests on the conscience of those who have ruined the foundations of activity of this organization," the ministry said.

The ministry said it was confident that "the situation in the Council of the Baltic Sea States has been degrading." "NATO and EU members in the CBSS have renounced equal dialogue and the principles this regional organization of the Baltic Sea was established on, and are consistently turning it into a tool of anti-Russian policy," it said.

For instance, "Russia has been barred from CBSS projects and Belarus's status of a Council observer has been suspended," the ministry said.

"Let us be frank and say that the Western countries have monopolized the Council for their selfish ends and are planning to customize its activity to the detriment of Russian interests," it said.

"A ministerial session of the Council is due to take place in Kristiansand, Norway, on May 25, 2022, without Russia. Our contribution to the CBSS budget has practically been stolen - they say referring to the sanctions they are not going to give it back," the ministry said.

"There is no prospect of restoring normal work in the Council [...] under these circumstances. We believe that further membership of our country in the CBSS would be unreasonable and counterproductive. Russia will take no part in the organization's transformation into another platform for subversive activity and 'Western narcissism'," the ministry said.