Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a press conference after a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe on Friday, May 13.

Global and regional issues, interaction in CIS format as well as current developments in Ukraine were reportedly on the agenda of the meeting.

According to the top Russian diplomat, the United States prohibits Central Asia’s from cooperating with the Russian Federation. 

“The United States gathers the Central Asian countries at different levels, they tell them: “Do not dare to continue cooperation with Russia, and in fact, Russia is already a ruined country, count on use,” said Lavrov.

“They say the same about China, because, as they say, China will not dare to violate Western sanctions.  Extremely self-confident, arrogant, ill-mannered – what I will call the actions of our Western colleagues,” top Russian diplomat stated.  

According to him, during the CIS foreign ministers’ meeting, they drew attention of their Central Asian colleagues and other member nations of the CIS to the fact that the European Union (EU) actively promotes its Central Asia's strategy, which has been developed without any consultations with the Central Asian nations, “while now the Central Asia-EU format is brewing.”

Meanwhile, TASS cited Lavrov as saying that the EU aspires to follow NATO’s path, "confirming the trend that they are fusing with the North Atlantic Alliance and will essentially function as its appendage."

According to him, the innocuousness of Kiev’s desire to join the European Union causes doubts.

"They [Ukraine] are trying to emphasize in every way their aspiration to become members of the European Union. [Ukrainian Foreign Minister] Dmitry Kuleba recently said that the European Union has to say "yes" or "no" practically right now. <...> Yet the most important thing is that this is an issue of relations between Kiev and the European Union.  Yet the innocuousness of such a desire by Kiev causes serious doubts. It is indeed like this, taking into account that the European Union, from a constructive and economic platform as it was conceived, turned into an aggressive belligerent player," he was quoted as saying by TASS at a press conference following a meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe.

The Council of Foreign Minister of the CIS Member Nations is the main executive body ensuring cooperation in the field of foreign policy activities of the CIS member states on the matters of mutual interest, adopting decisions during the period between the meetings of the Council of the CIS Heads of State, the Council of the CIS Heads of Government and by their orders.  The first session of the Council took place in August 1993.