Tuesday, 17 May 2022
WorldRussian Foreign Minister accuses the European Union of being NATO's "appendix"

Russian Foreign Minister accuses the European Union of being NATO’s “appendix”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that the European Union has gone from being a “constructive economic platform” to being “an appendage of NATO.”

Speaking at a press conference in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, following the Commonwealth of Independent States foreign ministers’ meeting, Lavrov said the EU has become “an aggressive militant player, declaring its ambitions far beyond the European continent”.

As an example, Lavrov cited a statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in which she indicated that the EU must play an active role in ensuring the security of the Indo-Pacific region.

Lavrov said that these statements “confirm the trend that they are merging with the North Atlantic Alliance and will perform the functions of its appendage.”

Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, Lavrov explained that it is necessary to restore the country and that this work must be sponsored, first of all, by Western countries that caused suffering to the Afghan people for two decades.

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Lavrov affirmed that Russia maintains its approach regarding the political settlement in Afghanistan and insisted that the current problems can be solved through the formation of an inclusive government, a body that would include all Afghans and political forces.

The Russian foreign minister recalled that he discussed the issue with the Taliban and that the new Afghan authorities consider their government to be inclusive because it is made up of representatives of different factions.

However, Lavrov said that all these national representatives are part of the Taliban itself and that no other political force participates in the administration of the state.

“It is necessary to expand this composition. Our Chinese colleagues, with whom we cooperate in various formats in the Afghan settlement, hold the same position. We urge all others involved in this process, including Pakistan, to take the same position,” Lavrov stressed.

The top diplomat also said that he hopes that Tajikistan, which has great influence in Afghanistan, will continue to help achieve common goals so that this country is peaceful and prosperous and does not pose a threat to anyone.

“All the countries of the region are interested in the implementation of this goal,” Lavrov assured.

Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Ministry declared a Bulgarian diplomat and 10 Romanians persona non grata.

Cristian Istrate and Atanas Krastin, the Romanian and Bulgarian ambassadors to Russia, respectively, were summoned to the Ministry, where they were given diplomatic notes inviting them to leave the country.

In a press release, the Ministry reported that the measure was taken in response to the “unmotivated decision” of Bulgaria and Romania in April to expel Russian diplomats from the embassies in Sofia and Bucharest.

Regarding Romania, the Ministry stated that Moscow “resolutely rejects” what it called Bucharest’s “unfounded attempts to blame Russia for war crimes in Ukraine.”

Likewise, the Ministry condemned Romania for “whitewashing the atrocities perpetrated by the nationalist battalions [ucranianos] against the civilian population”, as well as for supplying “weapons, equipment and other assistance to the kyiv regime”.

*Translated by Daniel Gallego.

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