Feb 21, 2021 13:43 UTC
  • Moscow slams West discussing global issues without Russia, China

The Russian Foreign Ministry has lambasted as “puzzling” the inclination of Western countries to resolve global issues of concern within a private circle without inviting Russia and China.

According to reports, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the ministry, made the comment in a statement on Saturday following an exclusively-held online session of the Munich Security Conference in southern Germany a day earlier.

"Considering that the announced agenda had such global items as ‘Priorities for Global Action,’ ‘Fighting the Pandemic’ and ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the list of participants is at the very least puzzling," Zakharova said.

"Essentially, the problems faced by the whole humanity are planned to be discussed in a very narrowed format. The organizers invited the US and EU leadership as well as the UN secretary general and the WHO director general to join the discussion. There was no mention of inviting other countries, including Russia and China. On the contrary, they were viewed by the discussions as threats and opponents who need to be countered," she added.

The Russian spokeswoman said the Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle to later foist their decisions on other members of the international community.

"We once again are forced to note the trend of the past few years when our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rule-based world order’," she added.

Zakharova underlined that Moscow is opposed to this approach and called for broader international cooperation on a common agenda within the framework of the universal democratic agencies of the United Nations.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Western allies and close partners to forge stronger ties and uphold the international order that he claimed Russia and China were challenging.

The NATO chief also told the virtual summit that the military alliance needed to update its decade-old strategic concept to take into account what he called Russia’s aggressive attitude and the rise of China.

Russia wants more predictability from US: Ambassador

On Saturday, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called on the US administration to be more predictable in its foreign policy.

"All we want is predictability, confidence in future, confidence in the United States’ actions,” he said in an interview with the Russia’s Solovyov Live YouTube channel.

Antonov expressed hope for "pragmatic cooperation" with Washington in a number of areas, saying the Russian side has already requested first contacts with the US President Joe Biden’s administration to outline possible spheres of cooperation.

"The people who are now working in the Department of State and in the White House — we have already sent them requests to arrange first contacts and begin to see what we can do together,” he said.

The Russian ambassador to the US also stressed that it would not be possible to ease tensions in relations until the sides began dialogue. “It is high time to sit down at the negotiating table, to look each other in the eyes and begin conversation.”