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Russian defense minister accuses US of strengthening its influence in post-Soviet space

April 16, 2015, 10:44 UTC+3

The minister said a number of western leaders are trying to isolate and 'punish' Russia for pursuing an independent policy

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© Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. The US is trying to strengthen its influence in the post-Soviet space, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday at the 4th Moscow Conference on International Security.

"NATO countries, first of all the US, are making considerably more active attempts to strengthen their influence at the post-Soviet space. To reach their interests, Washington and its closest allies use a set of different measures - promises of profitable investment, grants, gratuitous military-technical aid," Shoigu said.

By accusing Russia of "annexing" Crimea and interfering into Ukraine’s internal affairs, the West scares Russian neighbors and partners that they will become "next victims of Moscow’s aggression." Shoigu said. "The main aim is to tear away from Russia countries connected culturally and historically with it," the defense minister stressed.

The 4th Moscow Conference on International Security opened in Moscow today. The main topic of the conference, organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, is "Global Security: Challenges and Prospects." The Defense Ministry said that representatives of more than 70 countries will participate in the conference, including around a dozen of defense ministers and delegates from six international organizations.

Russia being punished for independent policy

The minister said a number of western leaders are trying to isolate and 'punish' Russia for pursuing an independent policy.

"Despite the attempts of some western leaders to isolate Russia and 'punish' us for an independent policy and protection of compatriots, we... are open for broad cooperation with partners across the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa and America," Shoigu said.

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