"In response to hostile actions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a message to envoys of CBSS member states, EU High Representative [Josep Borrell], as well as to the Council Secretariat in Stockholm, notifying them about [Russia's] withdrawal from the organization. Simultaneously, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation decided to withdraw from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference," read the statement released by the Russian FM.
The Russian FM made clear that its presence in the region would not be affected by such a decision. "Attempts to push our country away from the Baltic are doomed to fail. We will continue working with responsible partners, hold an event on key issues of development of the Baltic Region - our common heritage, we will continue to protect interests of our compatriots."
"The current situation in the council is on the conscience of those who destroyed the foundations of this organization." The ministry added that "the situation in the Council of the Baltic Sea States is degrading. NATO and EU states within the Council rejected the equal dialogue and the principles that this Baltic regional structure was created upon, and they gradually turned the Council into an instrument of anti-Russian politics."
Russia will withdraw from the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Russian foreign ministry announced Tuesday. The organization is a political forum for regional cooperation incl. 11 member states such as Germany, Finland and Norway as well as the European Union. pic.twitter.com/CGubphmUCv
The Ministry highlighted that "illegal and discriminatory decisions are being made in violation of the rule of consensus. Russia has been 'barred' from participation and projects of the Council, while Belarus has been 'suspended' as an observer."
According to the Ministry, Western states have "monopolized the Council in their own conjunctural goals." Russian FM continued to say that there are no perspectives on restoring the normal operation of the Council, "sinking ever into Russophobia and lies."
"We consider the further presence of our country in the Council pointless and counterproductive. Russia will not participate in turning the organization into another platform for sabotage activities and 'western vanity,'" read the statement.