Moscow urges Black Sea nations’ group to get back on track — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Moscow urges Black Sea nations’ group to get back on track — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Turning meetings into political talk shows will hurt the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Russia believes

A senior Russian diplomat has chastised Albania, which holds the rotating presidency in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), for allowing one of the group’s events to be dominated by the Ukraine conflict.

The rebuke came last week from Dmitry Birichevsky and the Russian Foreign Ministry released the transcript of his speech on Wednesday. The director of the ministry’s Department of Economic Cooperation, Birichevsky was heading Moscow’s delegation at an informal meeting of the BSEC’s Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). The organization has 13 member states, including Russia and Ukraine, and was created in 1992 to advance commerce in the Black Sea region.

The meeting was convened by Albania on the eve of the second anniversary of the Russian deployment of troops against Ukrainian forces. Parts of the Black Sea have seen military action, while civilian traffic in other areas has been affected. On several occasions Ukrainian sea mines, deployed to prevent a Russian amphibious operation, lost their anchors and floated away. Türkiye, Romania and Bulgaria have signed an agreement to jointly combat the threat.

Birichevsky warned that the Albanian presidency, which it assumed at the start of the year, may end up a “great failure” and tarnish the organization’s reputation. The meeting was called in violation of protocol, while its agenda deviated from the organization’s mandate, he said.

Moscow has accused Ukraine and its Western backers of manipulating various international forums for opportunities to attack Russia. Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, have dubbed the tactics a “Ukrainization of agenda” and argue that it harms the efficiency of affected organizations.

Birichevsky went on to say that since the senior officials’ meeting was going in the wrong direction, he would “consider it a talk show” and delivered a lengthy rebuke of the “Kiev regime” and Washington, going back as far as the 2014 armed coup in the Ukrainian capital.

The ongoing conflict is a “manifestation of neocolonialism” by the US, he claimed.

“Ukraine is not a unique example of such a policy,” Birichevsky stressed. “Let’s commemorate the innocent victims in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan. Other regions of the world … clearly feel the negative impact and opt for more democratic and efficient global governance.”

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