Lavrov accuses EU of trying but failing to drive Russia out of Central Asia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the European Union of attempting to drive his country out of Central Asia.
However, he said, the bloc was failing.
In a November 12 broadcast interview reported by AFP, Lavrov said: "The European Union isn't hiding its intentions to restrain [Russia] in every possible way and push it out of Central Asia and the South Caucasus."
The efforts, he said, were "futile", adding that Russia has been "historically present there" and is "not going to disappear."
On a visit to Kazakhstan at the start of November, French President Emmanuel Macron complimented the Central Asian nation for not bowing to the Kremlin, saying: “France values … the path you are following for your country, refusing to be a vassal of any power and seeking to build numerous and balanced relations with different countries.”
After leaving Kazakhstan, Macron moved on to Uzbekistan where he agreed with Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev that their countries should build a strategic relationship.
Notably, Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the week following the Macron visits paid a visit to Kazakhstan.
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