Lavrov: ‘They Are Trying to Pull Our Central Asian Neighbors Towards the West’

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In a new episode of the V Teme [On Point] project on BelTA’s YouTube channel Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov spoke about the West’s policy towards building ties with other countries, including Central Asia, comparing the current state of affairs with the Heartland policies.

Speaking about the West’s current policy, Sergey Lavrov said: “These Anglo-Saxon aggressive egoistic ideas can be seen in the actions by the West. Especially since the whole West has now been taken over by Washington. London, showing its Anglo-Saxon solidarity and its even somewhat patronizing attitude towards the Americans, taking into account historical factors, has always played along with the United States. What is happening in Eurasia testifies to the fact.”

The Russian foreign minister added: “Central Asia, just take a look at how it is being groomed. A dozen “Central Asia plus one” formats have already been set up – together with the USA, with the European Union, with Japan. As for the European Union, or rather as an addition to the “Central Asia plus the European Union” format, Germany has already set up its own format. France, I think, will not wait long and do the same. In other words, they are making up such frameworks for meetings, during which they are trying to pull our Central Asian neighbors, friends and allies towards the West, promising them some economic and trade benefits, preferences, and giving them some assistance that is not so impressive, if we take absolute figures, and is not comparable to the benefits the Central Asian countries get from cooperation with Russia within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Union.”

“What we are now witnessing is a purposeful injection of money for equipment and technology in sensitive areas: border protection, training of law enforcement officers, radiation safety. We are talking honestly about this with our Central Asian brothers,” Sergey Lavrov noted.

The minister drew attention to the fact that Russia also has the “Central Asia plus” mechanism. “It would be incomprehensible if it did not exist. Central Asia has a similar mechanism with China. We, as direct neighbors of Central Asia, as people who did not come from overseas or from the other end of Europe or Eurasia, are interested in making sure that the Central Asian region is not used as a battering ram, as the one created in Ukraine, to threaten not only Russia, but also the People’s Republic of China,” the Russian foreign minister said.

“Our Western colleagues have many such plans. In the same logic, the Heartland reaches the Taiwan Strait. The Heartland reaches the ASEAN countries, which are mostly located on the Eurasian mainland, as well as on the islands. We have a process that we are actively promoting through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, through the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and ASEAN. There are also processes that are being implemented within the framework of China’s Belt and Road project. The People’s Republic of China has signed intergovernmental agreements with the Eurasian Economic Community members in order to align its economic and logistical plans with similar plans in the Eurasian Economic Union. The Eurasian Economic Community has cooperation agreements with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The SCO, since it is engaged both in economic and also security cooperation, has stable relations with the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” Sergey Lavrov said.

He explained: “In other words, here we have a network of regional structures that want to benefit from cooperation on our God-given common continent. Of course, no one forbids anyone to choose partners. But when out-of-the-region countries come here with not quite pure intentions, we pay attention and will do everything to ensure that Central Asia does not suffer from such ill intentions.”

Source : Belta