NewsLavrov denies union accusations: "We aren't going anywhere"

Lavrov denies union accusations: "We aren't going anywhere"

Sergey Lavrov
Sergey Lavrov
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu Agency
ed. MUP

3:48 PM EST, November 12, 2023

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the European Union plans to oust Russia from Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

"The European Union is not hiding its intentions to deter Russia in every possible way and push us out of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. However, these attempts are in vain. Our historical presence here is irrefutable, and we're not going anywhere. Our partners and allies are fully aware of this," said Lavrov in Moscow.

Lavrov also said that derogatory remarks about Central Asian countries are frequently made by not only Western leaders but Western media as well.

Regarding suggestions that Russia intends to annex Kazakhstan, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov labeled these claims as "nonsense". He stated that Russia values its strategic partnership with Astana and attempts to bolster ties with it.

"This is just part of the information war. Kazakhstan is an autonomous nation that promotes cooperation in all directions, as opposed to aligning with any particular country," commented Peskov.

Peskov mentioned the potential of Russia-Kazakhstan relations hasn't yet been fully explored. He spoke of thriving trade, investments, and cultural exchange underlined by mutual respect.

Moscow's apprehensions about Asian countries

Reports suggest Moscow is wary of Western attempts to win the favor of Central Asian nations, such as French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to Kazakhstan. Macron commended the former Soviet state for not aligning with Moscow on the Ukraine issue.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov opined that the West is striving to estrange Russia's "neighbors, friends, and allies".

"Observe how the Western powers are seeking to ingratiate themselves with Central Asia," Lavrov told the BelTA news agency. "They've introduced many frameworks like 'Central Asia plus', which involves the United States, the EU, and Japan. Moreover, Germany has established its own structure, and it won't be long before France does the same," he said.

"Diplomatic efforts are being exerted to tempt our neighbors, friends, and allies in Central Asia towards the West, which claims to offer them economic and trade incentives and proposes rather modest aid programs," he concluded.

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