MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The Turkish foreign minister was invited to a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation foreign ministers in Sochi in keeping with Russia’s obligations as the organization’s president, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"All foreign ministers from the member-countries and the participating observers were invited to the BSEC meeting of foreign ministers due in Sochi on July 1," Zakharova said. "It is strange that just one personality of all those invited has been picked out. I do understand, though, that there is great interest."
"An invitation to the 34th meeting of BSEC foreign ministers was dispatched to the Turkish foreign minister, too. "It was delivered to the recipient," Zakharova said. "It was our duty."
Zakharova pointed out that Russia was very scrupulous about its obligations.
"On June 29 - July 1 Sochi will host the final session ending Russia’s presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation," she said. "On June 29-30 there will be a meeting of senior officials, and on July 1, a session of the BSEC Foreign Ministers’ Council. The results of diversified and dynamic work of the organization in January-June this year will be reviewed. Under the Russian presidency the schedule of events was very tight."
There are no plans for now for arranging a separate meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in case he attends the forthcoming conference of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation foreign ministers in Sochi.
"All attending foreign ministers will be able to meet each other on the sidelines. This is a normal procedure at such events. There is no separate meeting on the Russian foreign minister’s schedule at the moment, but it is still being formed," Zakharova said.
The BSEC was established on June 25, 1992 as a reginal initiative. Since May 1999, when its charter took effect, it has been a full-format international organization. The BSEC consists of Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Twelve countries and four organizations are present in the capacity of observers. Russia has chaired the BSEC since the beginning of 2016. Serbia will be the next president.