New Delhi, May 12: Russia will be hoping that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) shows solidarity with Moscow’s stance and the aims of its ongoing ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine when the foreign ministers of the bloc meet in Dushanbe on Friday.
The situation in Ukraine is set to take centre stage with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who is currently visiting Oman, also scheduled to hold a number of bilaterals on the sidelines of the CIS meeting in the Tajikistan capital.
Russia said that an exchange of views is expected on topical regional and international topics, as well as “promising areas” for the development of multifaceted cooperation within the Commonwealth.
“Particular attention will be paid to issues of international security and strengthening ties in the cultural, humanitarian and scientific fields,” Alexei Zaitsev, the Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, had said in Moscow, last week.
Ahead of the foreign ministers’ gathering in Dushanbe, a meeting of the Working Group for monitoring the economic situation in the CIS member states was held in Moscow today.
As many as nine issues have been included in the draft agenda for Friday’s meeting with the ministers planning to exchange views on “topical international issues” and on issues of interaction within the Commonwealth.
As the Russian President Vladimir Putin, and also possibly Nato members, prepare for a long haul in Ukraine, Moscow has intensified interaction with the countries in the region.
On May 3, Putin and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko discussed preparations for the upcoming meeting of the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which is expected to take place later this month.
A few days before that, Putin had dialled President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev where issues of interaction within the framework of the CSTO were also touched upon .
“The mood for the comprehensive strengthening of Russian-Kazakh relations of alliance and strategic partnership was confirmed,” the Kremlin had said after the telephone conversation between the two leaders on April 29.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, himself under a lot of pressure at home over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, had paid a two-day official visit to Russia on April 19-20.
“Russia is Armenia’s strategic partner, we effectively cooperate in the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. It is no secret that Russia has a key role to play in ensuring security and stability in our region,” Pashinyan had said standing alongside Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow.
Releasing inside details about the Armenia PM’s recent visit to Moscow, a Yerevan-based news and analytic agency said today that Putin was “very pleased” with Pashinyan’s visit this time.
“Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, they [i.e., Russia] have been closely monitoring the behavior of official Yerevan, and believe that Armenia has behaved better than even its longtime Central Asian allies – particularly Kazakhstan,” reported News.am today.
Ahead of his trip to Dushanbe, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan had travelled to Washington and held meetings with top Biden administration officials, including the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
“Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the support provided by the United States to Armenia for the strengthening of democracy, sustainable development and the fight against corruption. Anthony Blinken, in his turn, highly assessed the democratic reforms implemented in Armenia, and underscored the continuous support of the American side to them,” said the Armenian Foreign Ministry after the May 2 meeting between Mirzoyan and Blinken.
The Uzbek delegation to Dushanbe will be led by the interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov. Tashkent had angred Moscow with its pro-Ukraine statments in March but since then supported further development of interaction between Russia and Uzbekistan in the CIS, the SCO and, in general, in the foreign policy courses.
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